ENDWELL, NY (WSKG) — Head of New York State’s Republican Party, Nick Langworthy, continued his defense of Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23) Wednesday, believing he should not resign in the wake of a sexual misconduct allegation.
Langworthy has repeated calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, to resign in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct allegations as well as several other scandals. But, when asked if Reed should set an example for Cuomo by resigning, Langworthy said he thinks the Southern Tier congressman has gone far enough.
“I think he has set an example already,” Langworthy told reporters gathered outside the state office building in Binghamton. “Because he had a single accuser. Within 72 hours of the charges being leveled, Congressman Reed took full accountability. He admitted wrongdoing. He acknowledged that he had caused someone pain.”
On Friday, the Washington Post reported allegations by Nicolette Davis, who claims Reed rubbed her shoulders and unhooked her bra at a bar with other lobbyists in 2017.
While a statement from Reed given to WSKG on Friday noted those claims were “not accurate,” Reed changed course on Sunday, saying that he would not “dismiss” Davis. He said he was struggling with alcohol at the time and has been in treatment.
In Sunday’s announcement, Reed also said he would not run for re-election to his seat in Congress, which he has held since 2010. He also acknowledged he would not make a run for Governor in 2022, something he had publicly been entertaining in recent months.
The Chemung County Democratic Committee as well as several other prominent Democrats in Reed’s district have called on him to resign.
Langworthy also pointed to political reasons why he believes Reed should not step down now.
“The only thing that a resignation would prove at this point is that about 800,000 residents in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes would not have a voice in Washington for the next 18 months because there’s no way Andrew Cuomo would call a special election,” Langworthy said.
Following the resignation of former Western New York Rep. Chris Collins in October of 2019, Cuomo refused to set a date for a special election, prompting a lawsuit by Langworthy’s GOP.
Cuomo later set the date to coincide with the 2020 presidential primary in April, but that was delayed until June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 27th Congressional District was without representation for eight months.
Reed has not made any public appearances since the Washington Post story first came out on Friday. An in-person town hall event scheduled for Monday evening was cancelled hours beforehand.
Langworthy used his stop in Binghamton to rail against Democrats in the state legislature. He accused legislators, specifically naming Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-123), of deliberately slow-rolling impeachment proceedings of Cuomo and using his diminished political power to push for more taxes and spending in the state’s budget.
“While Democrats are protecting each other, it’s the tax payers in this state once again who are getting screwed,” Langworthy said. “They’re tossed aside, they’re disrespected and they’re treated as an endless well of money that politicians that can continue to bleed dry so they can go back to their districts and hand out goodies.”
Lupardo, who chairs the Assembly Agriculture Committee, has said she supports investigations into Cuomo, but has not joined other Democrats in fully calling for the Governor’s resignation. She defended her stance on the budget and the impeachment proceedings in a response to WSKG.
“I’m always working to keep vital programs and services available, without increasing the financial burden on families and businesses. As for the impeachment investigation, it’s the first one the Assembly has conducted in over 100 years, so it’s not something we entered into lightly. I’m expecting a thorough and professional investigation,” Lupardo said in the statement. “If the GOP Chair is looking to point fingers, he’s barking up the wrong tree.”
The legislature, which is dominated by a veto-proof Democratic majority, and the Governor must agree on a budget deal before April 1.