U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican from western New York who was accused last week of rubbing a female lobbyist’s back and unhooking her bra without her consent in 2017, apologized to the woman on Sunday and announced that he will not run for reelection next year.
Reed, 49, said he was “powerless over alcohol” and had entered treatment “at a time in my life in which I was struggling.” He said he planned “to dedicate my time and attention to making amends for my past actions,” after apologizing to the victim, his wife, and children.
In late February, Reed had said he was seriously considering a run against Andrew Cuomo for governor if he decided to seek another term.
A former mayor of Corning, New York, Reed had been elected in 2010, and is co-chair of the House of Representatives’ bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. His statement read that he would not seek any elected office in 2022.
Nicolette Davis, a 25-year-old Aflac lobbyist reported two days earlier that Reed, seated next to her at a Minneapolis bar, unhooked her bra from outside her blouse and moved his hand to her thigh.
“A drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” she texted a co-worker at Aflac that evening, adding later, “HELP HELP.”
Reed initially said the account was not accurate, but his statement on Sunday read, “In reflection, my personal depiction of this event is irrelevant. Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry, and I take full responsibility.”