A New York congressman who called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s impeachment and was “seriously considering” running against him has apparently had a change in plans, now that his own sexual misconduct has come to light.
GOP Rep. Tom Reed on Sunday owned up to allegations from Nicolette Davis, who said that when she was a 25-year-old junior lobbyist in 2017, Reed unhooked her bra while at a dinner and put his hand on her thigh, as the Washington Post reported last week. Reed initially denied Davis’ allegations, but yesterday he issued an apology, attributing his actions to alcoholism.
“Even though I am only hearing of this matter as stated by Ms. Davis in the article now, I hear her voice and will not dismiss her. In reflection, my personal depiction of this event is irrelevant," Reed said in a statement. "Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showered her disrespect and it was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry, and I take full responsibility."
Reed said he recognized he was “powerless over alcohol” in 2017, the year the alleged harassment occurred, and entered treatment that year. He said he’s been sober for four years.
“This is in no way an excuse for anything I've done," Reed said. "Consistent with my recovery, I publicly take ownership of my past actions, offer this amends, and humbly apologize again to Ms. Davis, my wife and kids, loved ones, and to all of you."
Reed was first elected to Congress in 2010, and prior to that he was the mayor of Corning, New York. Along with New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer, he’s a co-chair of the Problem Solvers caucus, a bipartisan group of 56 centrist House lawmakers.
Last month, Reed told Fox News he was “seriously considering” a run for governor in 2022 against Gov. Cuomo, a Democrat. Amid a continuous stream of sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo from several women who’ve worked with or otherwise encountered him, Reed called for Cuomo’s impeachment.
“These incidents of sexual harassment and pattern of abuse are abhorrent and have absolutely no place in our society, let alone the highest rungs of government,” Reed said in February, after former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett publicly accused Cuomo of harassing her. “Such behavior is disturbing and unacceptable.” (Cuomo has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.)
But on Sunday, Reed said he wouldn’t run for elected office in 2022, ruling out both a run for governor and re-election to the House. Reed’s office said in the statement that he had made a pledge when first elected to serve no more than six terms in the House.
The vast majority of New York’s congressional delegation, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The Democratic-run New York legislature opened an impeachment inquiry earlier this month into the allegations of sexual harassment as well as the potential cover-up of the true scope of nursing home deaths in New York, and Attorney General Tish James has launched her own investigation into Cuomo’s conduct. Cuomo has refused to resign until James’ investigation is completed.
Former top Cuomo administration official Lindsay Boylan went public last month and alleged Cuomo sexually harassed her while she worked for him, including kissing her on the lips after a meeting in Manhattan in 2018. Since then, eight women have come forward to accuse Cuomo of sexual misconduct. Last week, current Cuomo aide Alyssa McGrath became the eighth woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual misconduct and backed up an account from another aide who said Cuomo groped her breast at Cuomo’s private residence last year.
“He has a way of making you feel very comfortable around him, almost like you’re his friend,” McGrath told the New York Times. “But then you walk away from the encounter or conversation, in your head going, ‘I can’t believe I just had that interaction with the governor of New York.’”