Pennsylvania Dem Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

State Rep. Mike Zabel allegedly propositioned and stalked colleague

Pennsylvania state representative Mike Zabel (D.) / YouTube
March 10, 2023

A Pennsylvania state House Democrat resigned from office after three women accused the lawmaker of sexual harassment, the Washington Post reported.

Pennsylvania state representative Mike Zabel on Wednesday announced his resignation, saying he wants to "focus on my family and my health." Among the three women alleging harassment is a fellow state representative, who said that Zabel inappropriately touched her.

Republican representative Abby Major said she and Zabel were at a bar last November when Zabel touched her, propositioned her, and "was being a creep." Zabel, who was "clearly intoxicated," followed Major to her car, forcing her to ask a colleague to walk out with her, she said.

Zabel is just the latest Democratic lawmaker to face accusations of sexual misconduct. Former Oregon Democratic lawmaker Diego Hernandez resigned amid accusations of coercive sexual harassment in 2021, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Though some colleagues came to his defense, Hernandez quickly resigned, saying he wished to "focus on my health and family."

Zabel's former campaign manager, who was also among those filing complaints against the Pennsylvania representative, voiced concern over Zabel's alcohol consumption.

"My illness has caused some behavior that I regret, and I agree that additional intervention is necessary for me to fully recover," Zabel wrote in response to the allegations.

The Pennsylvania House changed its rules recently to allow non-employees to file sexual harassment complaints after a lobbyist said Zabel had victimized her four years ago.