Another Congressman Is Not Running For Re-election

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With Congressman Pat Meehan announcing that he will not seek re-election after getting caught up in a sexual harassment suit, the question is who will replace him on the ballot.

Republican Patrick Meehan (R-PA) debates the legality of President Obama's executive action on immigration with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 2, 2014.

Meehan came under increasing pressure this week after a New York Times story detailed an alleged harassment incident with a now former staffer and a reputed cash settlement to her from public funds.

He is the fifth U.S. lawmaker to resign or say he will not run again amid a wave of sexual misconduct claims.

U.S. Rep Pat Meehan acknowledged Tuesday that he had a deep "affection" for a younger aide and told her a year ago that he saw her as "a soul mate", but said he never pursued a romantic relationship with the woman and, despite paying her a secret settlement, denied her. Ryan also told Meehan he must repay whatever taxpayer funds were used to settle the case.

He said he had developed strong feelings for the woman in the seven years she had worked for him, and that he reacted badly when he discovered that she had a romantic interest in another man.

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Jim Lee says the race for Meehan's seat could be one of the most expensive races for this election season.

She filed a complaint, started working from home and eventually left the job before Meehan's office paid a settlement said to be "in the thousands".

As a member of the House Ethics Committee, Meehan was involved in investigating sexual harassment in Congress, including misconduct claims against four current and former congressmen: Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.).

But he said in a letter sent to his campaign chairman on Thursday, he said that "recent events concerning my office and the settlement of certain harassment allegations have become a major distraction", according to Philadelphia Inquirer, which obtained a copy of the note. The committee will conduct its own investigation of the allegations.

Initially, Meehan had said he would run for a fifth term.

"Quite simply to me a soul-mate means a uniquely close person who is joined with you on a daily basis, in which you both share the routine successes and strains of a work day", he added.

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