A woman whose affair with a married eight-term Pennsylvania congressman led to his resignation said Wednesday she is pursuing her own run for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Shannon Edwards, 33, announced in a statement that she is seeking the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Pittsburgh U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle. It was first reported by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, an outspoken opponent of abortion rights, resigned in October after the newspaper reported that text messages suggested he wanted Edwards to get an abortion when they thought she might be pregnant.
Edwards is running in a neighboring district.
The Post-Gazette reported that a text from Edwards said Murphy had “zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options.”
A text reply from Murphy’s number said staff was responsible for his anti-abortion messages: “I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more.”
Murphy had a 100 percent anti-abortion voting record in Congress.
A special election to fill the unexpired portion of Murphy’s term is March 13, pitting Democrat Conor Lamb against GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone.
Edwards told the paper she does not regret her relationship with Murphy.
She met Murphy at a convention in 2015, and then offered to work with him on legislation to improve how Medicaid reimburses psychiatric hospitals, and to establish an official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to oversee how mental health funds are spent. Both are psychologists.
“We worked very closely on legislation that did a lot for my patients and clients. I can’t rewrite the past, and I don’t know what other course it could have gone,” she told the Post-Gazette.
Murphy, who had been in Congress since 2002, resigned in October, days after the newspaper first disclosed the texts. He apologized and asked for privacy for his family.
Their affair became public during Edwards’ own divorce proceedings.
Edwards, a native of Cranberry, Pennsylvania, has worked as a forensic psychologist with family and criminal courts.
The Post-Gazette described Edwards as a former political independent who is now a registered Republican.