Meehan won’t seek reelection in the 7th

U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-7)

Amidst a scandal involving alleged sexual harassment of a staffer and a public payout of funds to settle, U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-7) announced Thursday that he would not seek reelection for his seat in Congress from the 7th District.

Meehan came under increasing pressure this week after a New York Times story detailed an alleged harassment incident with a now former staffer and a reputed cash settlement to her from public funds.

After an interview with The Inquirer where Meehan referred to the woman as his “soul mate” — all while saying that no romantic relationship had occurred — pressure ramped up on him to leave his seat.

With Meehan out of the picture, the GOP will be looking for a replacement candidate, while Democrats have a large roster of candidate running for a seat largely seen as in play prior to Meehan’s withdrawal from the race.

Another issue: the state Supreme Court ruling that declared the state’s Congressional districts as being in violation of the state Constitution could mean an entirely new 7th District — one likely more favorable to Democrats. Pennsylvania Republicans have sought a stay of the ruling in the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing a lack of time to implement new maps.

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