WASHINGTON — Consultant Tom Reed, Republican of New York, apologized on Sunday to a lady who accused him of touching her inappropriately and stated that he wouldn’t run for any political workplace in 2022, together with governor.
In a lengthy statement, Mr. Reed apologized to a former lobbyist, Nicolette Davis, whose allegation that the congressman groped her throughout a 2017 political journey was reported on Friday by The Washington Post. Mr. Reed stated that he took “full accountability” for the episode and that it “occurred at a time in my life during which I used to be struggling” with an alcohol habit.
“Although I’m solely listening to of this matter as said by Ms. Davis within the article now, I hear her voice and won’t dismiss her,” Mr. Reed, 49, stated. “In reflection, my private depiction of this occasion is irrelevant. Merely put, I induced her ache, confirmed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I used to be unsuitable, I’m sorry and I take full accountability.”
Earlier than Ms. Davis’s allegation, Mr. Reed was publicly mulling a run for governor in 2022, as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, was besieged by a wave of accusations of sexual harassment and different misconduct. Mr. Reed additionally stated on Sunday that he wouldn’t run for re-election, citing a pledge to serve solely six phrases that he made to voters when he was first elected in 2010.
Ms. Davis instructed The Submit that when she was a 25-year-old lobbyist for the insurance coverage firm Aflac, Mr. Reed groped her at an Irish pub in Minneapolis after a day of ice fishing with donors, politicians and lobbyists. Whereas intoxicated, Mr. Reed positioned his hand on her again, she stated, unclasped her bra via her shirt and moved his hand up her thigh earlier than Ms. Davis requested the person sitting subsequent to her to intervene.
After her accusation was made public on Friday, Mr. Reed said in a statement that the “account of my actions shouldn’t be correct,” however didn’t elaborate or deny the encounter outright.
Mr. Reed had been on a brief record for New York Republicans pondering of difficult Mr. Cuomo, who has been considerably weakened politically by the sexual harassment scandal in addition to by controversy over his administration’s dealing with of the state’s nursing properties throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
A Quinnipiac University poll launched on Thursday discovered that Mr. Cuomo’s approval score had shrunk to 39 p.c, the bottom of his decade-long tenure. Even worse for the governor’s future prospects was a discovering that two-thirds of voters didn’t need to see Mr. Cuomo search a fourth time period subsequent yr, whereas solely 25 p.c did.
Such outcomes have given hope to Republicans, who haven’t gained a statewide election in practically 20 years. In February, even earlier than Mr. Cuomo’s first accuser, Lindsey Boylan, got here ahead, Mr. Reed had instructed Fox Information he was “seriously considering” a run.
“We’ve been requested by many individuals to do that for months, as a result of I feel they admire the best way I govern,” he stated.
Mr. Reed, who was easily re-elected in November in a big district that encompasses a lot of New York’s border with Pennsylvania, was thought-about a extra average choice than different potential candidates for governor, similar to Consultant Elise Stefanik, a detailed ally of former President Donald J. Trump’s. The co-chairman of the bipartisan Downside Solvers Caucus, Mr. Reed had cultivated a popularity as a centrist who was prepared to achieve throughout the aisle in an try to chop via partisan gridlock and dealer offers.
“I need to do no matter I can as a proud Republican — and I’m working with proud Democrats — to deliver folks collectively to attempt to win hearts and minds primarily based on concepts and influencing them from coverage views,” Mr. Reed stated in January.
With Mr. Reed’s obvious departure from the political stage, Republicans have just one distinguished official declaring curiosity so far: Consultant Lee Zeldin of Lengthy Island, who stated in early March that he was mulling a marketing campaign to oust Mr. Cuomo.
Late Sunday, Nick Langworthy, the New York Republican Occasion chairman, stated he counseled Mr. Reed for “taking actual accountability for his actions” and wished him “continued energy” in his battle with alcohol issues.
“I consider he has made the suitable determination,” Mr. Langworthy stated, “and I hope that this could deliver some peace for Ms. Davis, who made very critical allegations that deserved to be heard.”
Mr. Reed was first elected to Congress in 2010, triumphing in a particular election after the congressman who beforehand held the seat, Eric Massa, a Democrat, resigned while being investigated for sexually harassing his male congressional aides.