The seat will more than likely remain Republican.
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) has received praise and endorsements from pro-life and pro-family groups since he came into Congress in 2003.
But Murphy announced he will not seek re-election after texts leaked between him and the woman he was having an affair with revealed that he urged her to have an abortion during a pregnancy scare.
The affair came to light last month during the divorce proceedings of forensic psychologist Shannon Edwards, Murphy’s mistress, and her husband Jesse Sally, who “sought to have Murphy testify in a deposition earlier this year.” Murphy admitted the affair:
“Last year I became involved in an affair with a personal friend,” the Republican lawmaker said in a statement released through his lawyer, after a court hearing in Allegheny County on Wednesday. “This is nobody’s fault but my own, and I offer no excuses. To the extent that there should be any blame in this matter, it falls solely upon me.”
The congressman added, “I ask the media to respect the privacy of my family. They have done nothing wrong and deserve to be left alone.”
On Tuesday, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published leaked text messages between Edwards and Murphy from January over a pro-life Facebook post on his work page:
“And you have 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,” Shannon Edwards, a forensic psychologist in Pittsburgh with whom the congressman admitted last month to having a relationship, wrote to Mr. Murphy on Jan. 25, in the midst of an unfounded pregnancy scare.
A text from Mr. Murphy’s cell phone number that same day in response says, “I get what you say about my March for life messages. I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”
Murphy made his announcement on Wednesday evening. From Politico:
“After discussions with my family and staff, I have come to the decision that I will not seek reelection to Congress at the end of my current term,” Murphy said in his statement. “I plan to spend my remaining months in office continuing my work as the national leader on mental health care reform, as well as issues affecting working families in southwestern Pennsylvania.”
Murphy added: “In the coming weeks I will take personal time to seek help as my family and I continue to work through our personal difficulties and seek healing. I ask you to respect our privacy during this time.”
The scandal had some on the Hill privately wish that Murphy would resign or retire.
Murphy spoke to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) before he made his announcement. He also spoke with his Pennsylvania colleagues Bill Shuster and Charlie Dent.
Republicans dominate Murphy’s district so the party will more than likely keep the seat. Murphy did not have an opponent in 2014 and 2016. One Democratic strategist even said the party couldn’t win the seat even if Murphy did run again.
Some Democrats still have hope. Politico continued:
“It’s a tough district, no doubt about it, but Democrats have been able to keep it close in other races,” said Mike Mikus, a longtime Democratic operative in the state. “I think you’ll see more Democrats taking a look at this and considering jumping in now.”
A handful of Democrats are already in the race, including Pam Iovino, a Navy veteran and former Veterans Affairs official; Mike Crossey, a former member of the Allegheny County Council; and Bob Solomon, a physician.
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