Pennsylvania State Sen. Daylin Leach Takes ‘Step Back' From Congressional Campaign Amid Misconduct Allegations

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has called for Sen. Daylin Leach to step down from his senate seat.

Democratic state senator Daylin Leach is "taking a step back" from a run for U.S. Congress amid published allegations of inappropriate conduct toward women.

The accusations prompted Gov. Tom Wolf to demand Leach resign from the senate — something different than what Leach announced he'd do Monday.

Leach, who has represented parts of Delaware and Montgomery counties since 2009, turned to Facebook Monday afternoon said he intended to continue representing his district in the Pennsylvania Senate.

"Today, I am taking a step back from the congressional campaign to focus on my family and work with Senate leaders to address these allegations and fully cooperate with them as they are all vetted," Leach wrote.

"I will continue to do all that I can to advance progressive causes in the Senate and represent my constituents with honor."

The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday quoted anonymous former campaign and legislative staffers and advisers who accused the 56-year-old lawmaker of behavior ranging from highly sexualized jokes and comments to touching they considered inappropriate.

Wolf swiftly called for Leach to step down from the senate on Sunday. Speaking to reporters in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon, Wolf said he hadn't spoken to Leach, but has a "zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior."

“This is not something that anyone, male or female, should be forced to subject himself or herself to in the course of doing a job. It’s wrong," the governor said of the allegations.

Leach has been running on the Democratic side to challenge Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan for the 7th Congressional seat.

Asked whether Leach should drop out of the congressional race, Wolf merely reaffirmed that Leach exit the senate. Wolf made his comments less than 30 minutes before Leach's announcement.

Leach said on Facebook that media attention has "gotten out of hand" and impacted his family. He also called the situation "heartbreaking."

"While I've always been a gregarious person, it's heartbreaking to me that I have put someone in a position that made them feel uncomfortable or disrespected," Leach wrote. "In the future I will take more care in my words and my actions, and I will make it my top priority to protect those who to speak up to help change the culture around us.

"I have watched these allegations hurt my family and supporters, and respectfully ask for privacy for my family."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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