State Sen. Daylin Leach formally ended his congressional bid late Friday night in a Facebook post. He cited toxic partisanship in Washington, D.C., and political attacks against his family as the main drivers behind his decision.
“I first dreamed of being in Congress as a boy in middle school. The way I imagined it, I would be working with Bobby Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey, and each day would be an exhilarating whirlwind of social change,” he wrote.
In December, the Montgomery County Democrat was accused by several female staffers of inappropriate sexual behavior, including unwanted touching and making uncomfortable remarks. He made no mention of those allegations in his Facebook post.
“Given that Congress has devolved into a poisonous miasma of dysfunction, I came to the conclusion a couple of years ago that my desire to go there was based on inertia and an overly romanticized vision of what life as a congressman could be," he wrote.
Read the whole statement here:
Leach initially suspended his congressional campaign in December 2017. At the time, he was running against 7th District Republican Rep. Pat Meehan. But in January, Meehan dropped his re-election bid after being accused of sexual harassment.
After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a redrawn congressional map, the 7th District - which included portions of Berks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster and Montgomery counties - was split into individual districts along county lines:
State Rep. Madeleine Dean dropped her bid last week for lieutenant governor and will instead run in Leach's own Montgomery County.
Meanwhile, Republicans are talking impeachment over the new map. Two lawsuits - one in the U.S. Supreme Court and another in U.S. District Court - were filed last week to prevent the map from taking effect in the upcoming midterm elections.
Republican leaders are also threatening to seek the impeachment of Democratic judges who, in an unprecedented move, redrew Pennsylvania’s district map without the consent of the state legislature. Constitutional law scholars say they know of no other state court that has ever thrown out boundaries over a partisan gerrymandering claim.
What Pennsylvania’s high court struck down was widely viewed as one of the nation’s most gerrymandered congressional maps. Republicans had drawn bizarrely contorted districts in 2011, breaking decades of precedent to do it.