U.S. Representative Tom Reed accused of sexual misconduct -Washington Post

March 19, 2021 5:58 PM EDT

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) co-chair with the Problem Solvers Caucus and other members speaks at a news conference on the forthcoming passage of the bipartisan emergency COVID-19 relief bill in Washington, D.C., U.S., December 21, 2020. REUTERS/

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Representative Tom Reed, who has been mulling a challenge to Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has been accused of sexual misconduct by a former insurance company lobbyist, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

Nicolette Davis, who now serves in the U.S. military, told the newspaper that in 2017 Reed inappropriately placed his hand on her during a "networking trip" in Minneapolis.

"A drunk congressman is rubbing my back," the newspaper quoted Davis texting a co-worker at the time. "HELP HELP."

"This account of my actions is not accurate," Reed said in a statement, declining to answer further questions.

Davis could not be reached for immediate comment.

Cuomo, who would be up for re-election in November 2022, is under increasing pressure to resign following a series of allegations of sexual misconduct and that he had concealed the number of New York state nursing home deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investigations into those allegations are ongoing.

Reed, 49, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and has gained a reputation of being a moderate Republican willing to work with Democrats on some issues.

He is a member of the "Problem Solvers Caucus" that late last year played a role in the crafting of an emergency relief package to address the pandemic.

(This story removes extraneous word in second paragraph)

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Richard Chang)

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