Rochester, N.Y. - Representative Eric Massa (D-29) may not be back for a second term, but he's making an effort to choose a possible successor. Massa has spoken with Democrat Shawn Hogan, the mayor of Hornell.
Hogan said he received a phone call at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday from Massa urging him to run. Hogan serves as Democratic Party Chair in Steuben County.
While expressing sympathy for Massa's health issues, Hogan also explained feelings on making a run at the 29th Congressional district seat.
"I feel I have the credentials (to be a candidate)… I believe I could be a very formidable candidate… That being said, I need time; it's all happened very fast. I need some time to think about it and discuss it with my family," said Hogan.
Republican candidate Tom Reed, the mayor of Corning, released the following statement regarding Massa and the 29th district:
"I was saddened to hear that Congressman Massa's health will preclude him from running for re-election. While the Congressman and I disagreed on political issues, I respect his military and public service and wish him the best."
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, also a Republican, says she is considering a congressional run.
"I will give this opportunity serious consideration over the next several days. Ultimately, I will make a decision that allows me to best serve the people of Monroe County and Upstate New York by fighting for lower taxes, job creation, public safety, and a quality of life that is second to none."
Massa, a cancer survivor, cited health concerns as a reason for not seeking a second term in office.
Prior to those statements, reports surfaced alleging that Massa was accused of sexually harassing a male staffer.
According to the Associated Press, the House ethics panel is reviewing a complaint against Massa by a male staffer who reportedly felt uncomfortable in a situation with Massa that had sexual overtones.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Wednesday said he was told the week of Feb. 8 by a staff member in Massa's office about allegations of misconduct. Hoyer directed Massa to report the allegations to the House Ethics Committee within 48 hours. Hoyer said he got confirmation within 48 hours that the Ethics Committee had received the report and would review the allegations.
The Ethics Committee has never been in contact with Rep. Massa, according to Massa's Chief of Staff Joe Racalto.
He also said he was told that no complaint against Massa exists.
"We welcome a chance to respond to such an allegation or complaint, but we have to see one first. Congressman Massa is choosing not to run because of health concerns. Nothing more, nothing less," said Joe Racalto.