Who is Tom Reed: Biography, Personal Life, Career, Allegations
|U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., has announced he would not run for public office again following misconduct allegations. BILL CLARK / CQ ROLL CALL VIA GETTY IMAGES|
Thomas W. Reed II (born November 18, 1971) is an American attorney and politician who serves as the U.S. Representative for New York's 23rd congressional district. A Republican, Reed first joined the U.S. House after winning a special election to replace Democrat Eric Massa in 2010. Reed previously served one term as the Mayor of Corning, New York.
Tom Reed: Biography
Tom Reed, the youngest of 12, was raised by a single mother on a social security check. His father, a decorated career military officer, died when he was 2 but Tom still learned from his legacy of service and loyalty.
He received a B.A. degree in political science from Alfred University in 1993 and Juris Doctor from the Claude W. Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University in 1996.
Tom Reed: Career
In 2009, Reed announced that he would run against incumbent Democrat Eric Massa in the 29th Congressional District in the November 2010 election.Midway through his first term in Congress, Massa announced that he would not seek reelection due to health problems. In March 2010, Massa resigned from Congress after it was revealed that he was under investigation by the United States House Committee on Ethics for allegedly sexually harassing a male staffer.
In the election to replace Massa, Reed was challenged by Democrat and Working Families Party nominee Matthew Zeller. Reed received the endorsement of Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and every county Republican chairman in the 29th District.
Reed won the election with 56.3 percent of the vote to Zeller's 43.7 percent, and immediately assumed the remainder of Massa's term. In the immediate days following the election, Reed suffered a pulmonary embolism.After a three-day delay, he was sworn in on his thirty-ninth birthday, November 18, 2010, during a special ceremony.
New York lost two seats in the U.S. House due to population change. The 29th Congressional District was eliminated and much of the district became the 23rd Congressional District. The new 23rd District included Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Ontario, Schuyler, and Steuben counties from the old 29th District, and added Chautauqua, Seneca, Tompkins, and Tioga counties. Three candidates, Leslie Danks Burke, Melissa Dobson and Tompkins County legislator Nate Shinagawa, entered the Democratic primary to challenge Reed in the new 23rd District.Shinagawa won the Democratic nomination and also was nominated by the Working Families Party.
During the 2012 campaign, Reed said that he accidentally paid one of his tax bills using campaign funds. Reed's campaign voluntarily reported the error in a campaign finance report and Reed reimbursed the campaign.
Reed defeated Shinagawa in the general election, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent.
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in New York, 2014
Reed faced Tompkins County Legislative Chair Martha Robertson. Though it was predicted to be a close race, Reed won handily, with 57.7 percent of the vote to Robertson's 35.9 percent.
Reed ran for reelection in 2016. He was unopposed in the Republican primary.
Reed initially endorsed Jeb Bush's 2016 presidential campaign before Bush's departure from the race. He then endorsed Donald Trump for U.S. president on March 16, 2016. Reed reaffirmed his support for Trump in August 2016.
In the November 2016 general election, Reed faced John Plumb, the only Democrat to file for the race, Reed was re-elected with 58.1% of the vote; Plumb received 41.9 percent.
Reed ran unopposed in the Republican primary before facing Tracy Mitrano in the 2018 general election. Reed was re-elected with 54.2% of the vote to Mitrano's 45.8 percent.
Reed was ranked as the 32nd most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress, and the seventh most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York, in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy. In the 115th United States Congress, Reed voted in line with President Donald Trump's position 96.7% of the time.
Reed sits on the House Way and Means Committee, which is in charge of tax legislation and was one of only two House members from New York state (along with Chris Collins) to support the provision in the 2017 Republican tax overhaul bill that eliminated the federal tax deduction for state income taxes. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo accused the two lawmakers of "the Benedict Arnolds of their time", claiming that the loss of the deduction would cost New York State taxpayers nearly $15 billion and do grave damage to the state. Reed voted in favor of the overall bill.
In early 2019, Reed became the first House Republican in the new Congress to support a House rules change package authored by Democrats. Becoming the first member to "break ranks for a full rules proposal" in 18 years, he argued, according to his spokesman, that "real reforms were necessary that could actually bring legislation to the floor". The change intends to "lessen the sharp partisan divide in the House, in part by making it easier for rank-and-file members to bring their own bills onto the floor for a vote."
On September 19, 2019, Reed suddenly lost consciousness for approximately 30 seconds while waiting to conduct a television interview. He was revived and hospitalized.
Following the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Reed wrote in the New York Times that while Donald Trump could and should be held accountable, impeachment was not appropriate.
GOP Rep. Tom Reed apologizes, announces retirement amid misconduct claim
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican from western New York who was accused last week of rubbing a female lobbyist’s back and unhooking her bra without her consent in 2017, apologized to the woman on Sunday and announced that he will not run for reelection next year.
Reed, 49, said in a statement that the incident involving then-lobbyist Nicolette Davis occurred “at a time in my life in which I was struggling.” He said he entered treatment that year and realized he was “powerless over alcohol.”, NBC News reported.
Reed apologized to his wife and children, and to Davis, and said he planned “to dedicate my time and attention to making amends for my past actions.”
Reed, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, had been among the members of Congress calling for the resignation of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo over sexual harassment allegations. In late February, Reed said he was seriously considering running for governor against Cuomo should the Democrat seek a fourth term next year.
Reed said in his statement Sunday that he would not seek any elective office in 2022.
The announcement came two days after The Washington Post reported the allegations from Davis, who was 25 and a lobbyist for insurer Aflac when she said Reed, seated next to her at a Minneapolis bar, unhooked her bra from outside her blouse and moved his hand to her thigh.
“A drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” she texted a co-worker at Aflac that evening, adding later, “HELP HELP.”
Reed released a statement Friday saying, “This account of my actions is not accurate.”
In his statement Sunday he said, “In reflection, my personal depiction of this event is irrelevant. Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry, and I take full responsibility.”
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