Ending one of the shorter political careers in recent memory, Rep. Eric Massa, a freshman Democrat in a swing seat, will not seek re-election, possibly because of a recurrence of the cancer that almost took his life several years ago.
As I reported last month, Massa was diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was given just a few months to live. He survived, became active in politics and won his Congressional seat on his second try. Since then, he has become one of the more outspoken freshman members of Congress in the country.
CQ reports that the cancer has returned, but attributed it to a source. Massa has been raising money for another run, so my assumption is it would have to be something like that for him to abruptly leave. Massa scheduled a conference call at 3pm ET to make the announcement.
UPDATE: Politico is reporting (no link) that Massa has been accused of sexually harassing a male staffer, and that this is the reason for him stepping down. There’s no corroboration whatsoever for these allegations.
UPDATE II: ABC quotes a source saying that Massa will immediately resign. We’ll know soon enough.
UPDATE III: On his conference call, Massa confirms that he has had a recurrence of cancer. He will retire but not resign. And he said on the call that “I will now enter the final phase of my life.”
Hey, thanks for “winning the day” and smearing a terminally ill man with anonymous sources, Politico! Get that Pulitzer application ready!
UPDATE IV: Just wondering if John Bresnahan, Jonathan Allen and Josh Kraushaar will burn their sources now that the main reason for the retirement, as described by Massa, is terminal cancer.
UPDATE V: Glad to see that the National Journal sees fit to relate Mark Foley’s case, where we had multiple instant messages from Foley trying to bugger pages, to “some people say” Politico bullshit.