Republican Rep. Tom Reed will neither seek reelection in 2022 for the upstate New York House seat he's held for a decade, nor run to challenge scandal-plagued Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Reed made the announcement Sunday night in a statement in which he also apologized to former lobbyist Nicolette Davis over allegations about his behavior at a Minneapolis bar in 2017. According to a recent Washington Post article, the lawmaker, married with two children, fumbled with Davis's bra before unhooking it and moving his hand to her thigh, among other aggressive actions.
Reed, a former mayor of Corning, had in recent weeks had publicly considered seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination for the right to challenge Cuomo. Reed has heavily criticized Cuomo's handling of New York's nursing home patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and then further slammed the governor over a series of sexual harassment allegations.
“First, I apologize to Nicolette Davis," Reed said in his Sunday night statement. "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. Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry, and I take full responsibility."
During his decade in Congress, Reed has styled himself a pragmatic conservative, eager to work across the aisle. He co-chairs the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 56 House members who seek to foster bipartisan cooperation on policy issues.
But negative headlines have swirled around Reed the past couple of days after Davis, a former insurance company lobbyist, recalled meeting Reed when she was 25. After the congressman's untoward moves, in her telling, Reed only stopped when she asked another person at the table for help, who then pulled him away and out of the restaurant.
The departure of Reed from the House could make the upcoming round of redistricting smoother for both parties. New York is expected to lose one of its 27 House seats, and with the map-drawing process fully in Democratic hands, his district might have been a natural target for elimination or merging with that of another Republican lawmaker.
Reed is the second House member not to seek reelection in 2022, after Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.