A Democrat House candidate is under fire after allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior surfaced this weekend.
Alex Morse, the current mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, is attempting to unseat incumbent Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., and take hold of the state’s first congressional district.
But that effort is now in jeopardy as Morse stands accused of having illicit sexual relationships with students while he was a university adjunct lecturer at several state colleges.
My statement on the last 48 hours. pic.twitter.com/2RU5ht6jZ8
— Alex Morse (@AlexBMorse) August 10, 2020
Morse claims he has done nothing to disqualify himself from Congress and has vowed to continue his campaign.
He blamed the alleged indiscretions on being gay, while simultaneously accusing critics of engaging in “age-old anti-gay stereotypes.”
“I have had consensual relationships with other men, including students enrolled at local universities that I’ve met using dating apps,” he admitted in a statement on Sunday.
None of the accusations seem to involve minors.
Using tinges of “woke” terminology, the progressive House candidate tip-toed between admitting fault and claiming victim status.
Morse acknowledged that “some students” felt “uncomfortable” with the interactions they had with him and added that his behavior was “unacceptable” for anyone with “institutional power.”
He also said, “I am being held to a different standard, one deeply connected to a history of surveilling the sex lives of people like me.”
Undergraduate college students are typically 18-22 years old, which was admittedly not young enough for Morse to abstain from pursuing sexual gratification while a university employee.
Other Massachusetts Democrats disagree.
Two Holyoke city council members have called for Morse to resign.
A third said he should take an unpaid leave of absence as mayor while the University of Massachusetts investigates whether he violated federal Title IX laws on sexual harassment and discrimination.
Morse has also been disinvited from all future university events by the College Democrats of Massachusetts and its chapters at the University of Massachusetts and Amherst College.
The group issued a letter last week alleging that he engaged in a pattern of using “his position of power for romantic or sexual gain” over a period of years and at multiple Massachusetts colleges.
In his statement, Morse said he welcomes the investigations.
“I stand ready to meet with the University, the students, or any other people affiliated with the review process,” he said.
Councilman Michael J. Sullivan said he was “shocked” to learn that Morse was pursuing male college students with he was paid to teach, and said he was in “full support” of university investigations.
“Separately, I will be working with members of our City Council to begin our own investigation into any violations of municipal statutes, ordinances, or policies,” Sullivan said.
Councilman Terence Murphy urged city employees and volunteers on Sunday to report any similar concerns regarding Morse.
The allegations come just three before the all-important Democrat primary. Whoever wins the contest will almost certainly win in the liberal district’s general election.
Neal, Morse’s opponent, has been in Congress since 1989 and currently chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
“I intend to take our campaign’s progressive, inclusive message to the voters of the First District,” Morse said in his statement, undeterred.