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February 25, 2018

Two months following misconduct allegations, Sen. Daylin Leach withdraws congressional bid

Politics Senator Daylin Leach
Carroll - Daylin Leach Thom Carroll, File/PhillyVoice

State Sen. Daylin Leach.

In a statement posted to Facebook Saturday night, Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach announced the official end to his congressional bid.

About two months ago allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against Leach surfaced, with several ex-staffers and colleagues – including eight women and three men – sharing detailed accounts of Leach’s unwanted advances.

In light of the allegations, Leach announced in December that he was “taking a step back” from his campaign, suspending for the time being. Other Pennsylvania politicians, including Governor Tom Wolf, called on the Democrat and Temple alum to resign.

Despite these calls from colleagues, Leach instead penned an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer, apologizing to anyone he made uncomfortable, insisting, “I have always been a somewhat touchy person in conversation with both men and women and, therefore, I always assumed it was OK.” 

In January his opponent, 7th District Republican Rep. Pat Meehan, dropped his bid after his own set of sexual harassment allegations surfaced.

Now Leach is officially withdrawing his congressional bid, cementing the move with a lengthy Facebook post that does not mention the allegations but briefly refers to his op-ed.

Leach began his statement by talking about how he always dreamed to grow up and work in Congress among progressives, saying, “My fantasies never included Louie Gohmert, Paul Ryan, intractable partisan gridlock, or endless fundraising.”

Leach cites the election of President Donald Trump as a factor of pursuing office further in the first place, writing, “As destructive as I told people he would be as I campaigned for Hillary in 2016, his awfulness exceeded all of my expectations,” he wrote.

“I typically do not back down from a challenge, but the more these individuals direct attacks at my family – including my children – the more we, as a family asked, ‘is it worth it?’ and ‘what’s the big payoff?’” he wrote.

He concludes to say how proud he is of the progressive movement and that he wishes the other candidates well.

Read the full Facebook post below.