A potential challenger to Andrew Cuomo is no longer a potential challenger for a reason that will sound familiar to the New York governor—allegations of sexual misconduct. US Rep. Tom Reed has apologized and declared that he will not seek the GOP nomination for governor in 2022, reports Politico. Reed's statement came after the Washington Post published a damning story in which a former female lobbyist said a drunken Reed unhooked her bra in a bar in 2017 and put his hand on her thigh. Nicolette Davis, then a 25-year-old insurance lobbyist, is now an Army second lieutenant. “A drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” she texted a friend at the time, later adding, “HELP HELP," according to the Post story. She says she also asked a man sitting next to her for help, and he yanked Reed out of the Minneapolis bar.
Reed initially told the Post that "this account of my actions is not accurate.” He has since issued a more complete statement in which he apologizes to Davis and says his "personal depiction of this event is irrelevant," per the Hill. "Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry, and I take full responsibility.” Reed also apologized to his wife and children and said he has been in recovery for alcoholism since entering treatment in 2017. Davis approached the Post in February with her allegations, before Reed told Fox News that he was considering a gubernatorial run in 2022. “I need to always act in good conscience and set the right example for the soldiers I will lead, including younger females,” she said of her decision to come forward. (The latest allegation against Cuomo involves groping.)