Rep. Patrick Meehan told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday that he is still running for re-election amid a sexual harassment investigation. He said he expressed “affection” for a former staffer and told her they were soul mates, but he is still denying that he sexually harassed her.
The New York Times first reported over the weekend that Meehan used an undisclosed amount of taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment case brought by his former staffer, who has not yet been named. Meehan told the Inquirer that he would repay the settlement if the House Ethics Committee finds that he did harass the staffer.
Meehan said he told the aide “that I was a happily married man and I was not interested in a relationship, particularly not any sexual relationship, but we were soul mates.”
The House Ethics Committee on Monday opened an investigation into Meehan’s case. Meehan was removed from the committee after the New York Times report published on Saturday.
Meehan also said he is still planning to run for a fourth term.
Democrats are targeting the 7th District in the Philadelphia suburbs, which Hillary Clinton won by 2 points in 2016. Following the allegations, Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales shifted the 7th District race rating from Likely to Leans Republican.