Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Zabel, a Democrat, has been forced to resign from his elected office after three separate women accused him of sexual harassment. The accusations, which included inappropriate touching and lewd comments, have put a toll on Zabel’s family and he has decided to step down from his position.
Embattled Pennsylvania lawmaker quits amid sex harassment allegations. https://t.co/iu6gw8t4E8
— The Morning Call (@mcall) March 8, 2023
The first accuser, Colleen Kennedy, was Zabel’s former campaign manager. She wrote in a blog post that Zabel had touched her inappropriately at public events during his 2018 campaign. Kennedy believes Zabel’s inebriation led to the inappropriate touching, saying, “As I reflected upon that incident in the hours and days after, I considered alcohol to be a prominent character in that story.”
Democrat Rep Resigns From PA House After Sexual Harassment Allegations From Three Women https://t.co/6TL8Cqls7C
— Patriot911 (@Patriot911News) March 14, 2023
The second accuser, lobbyist Andi Perez, said Zabel inappropriately caressed her leg and continued to try and touch her more even after she pulled away from the Democrat lawmaker. The third accuser, State Rep. Abby Major, a Pennsylvania Republican, said a “clearly intoxicated” Zabel touched her while he was drunk off of wine at a “local establishment” in Harrisburg.
These accusations paint a clear picture of a man who is not fit to serve in public office. It is unacceptable for any elected official to take advantage of their power and influence to harass or assault anyone, especially women. It is even more concerning that Zabel was allegedly under the influence of alcohol during these incidents.
The fact that Zabel is a Democrat is particularly troubling as the party has long claimed to be champions of women’s rights and equality. This incident shows that the party is not living up to its own standards and is willing to turn a blind eye to sexual misconduct if it means protecting one of their own.
It is encouraging that Rep. Zabel has taken responsibility for his actions and resigned from his position. However, this incident serves as a reminder that we must remain vigilant in holding our elected officials accountable for their behavior. We must demand that all politicians, regardless of their party affiliation, act with integrity and respect for all people.