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Congressman Pat Meehan Will Not Seek Re-Election

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Following revelations he used taxpayer funds to settle a former aide's sexual harassment complaint, Congressman Pat Meehan, R-Penn., will not run for re-election this year.

Meehan said in a letter to his campaign chairman obtained by the Inquirer and Daily News that he decided not to seek re-election after consultation with his wife and three sons and after prayerful reflection.

The decision by Meehan comes after the New York Times revealed his secret settlement in a report on Saturday.

Meehan called the news a "major distraction" but wrote, "I need to own it because it is my own conduct that fueled the matter."

"It is clear to me that under the current conditions, any campaign I would run would not be decided over vital issues but would likely devolve into an ugly spectacle of harsh rhetoric," he added.

The four-term congressman received criticism for referring to the aide involved in the complaint as his "soul mate" but denied pursuing a romantic relationship with the woman.

In a statement National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, said he was disappointed by the circumstances leading to Meehan's retirement.

"We must always hold ourselves to the highest possible standard - especially while serving in Congress," Stivers said.

He added, "I am confident that the voters of Pennsylvania's 7th District will elect a strong conservative who will represent their values."

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