Progressive Dem mayor admits sex with students, vows to stay in race
Progressive Democrat, Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke, MA, who is running against incumbent Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) for Congress, admitted that he had sex with students while he taught a class at the University of Massachusetts, but said that he is being targeted because he is gay.
“In a letter to the candidate late last week,” says Boston.com, “the statewide College Democrats chapter said the mayor’s behavior was nonetheless inappropriate, disturbing both the organization’s members and other students who were subject to his advances.”
In a lengthy statement on Twitter, Morse apologized to anyone made “uncomfortable” but accused opponents of spying on his sex life.
“I say this not to shirk responsibility for having made anyone uncomfortable,” Morse said in a statement on Twitter. “I am simply highlighting the fact that I am being held to a different standard, one deeply connected to a history of surveilling the sex lives of people like me.”
Morse says despite the concerns some may have about his behavior he’s going to continue his run for Congress.
“While I am staying in the race,” he added, “I also fully understand that some of my supporters and endorsers have legitimate concerns about these allegations, and I understand if they feel they need to rescind their support.”
Morse, 31, burst on the scene at age 22 when he was elected the mayor of Holyoke. He’s been re-elected three times.
Following complaints this month, the University of Massachusetts began investigating candidate Morse for alleged violations of university policy on relationships with students. Morse has denied he violated any university policy or acted inappropriately with anyone as mayor.
But two Holyoke Town Council Members have already called in Morse to resign from his position as mayor.
“Michael J. Sullivan, an at large councilor,” says MassLive, “is the second member of the board to call for Morse’s resignation. He joined Ward 5 Councilor Linda Vacon, who said Saturday that Morse should step down immediately.”
Councilor Terence Murphy said that as the very least Morse should take unpaid leave as the university completes its investigation of possible federal violations of Title IX laws on sexual harassment and discrimination.
Morse claims that his relationships were all consensual, but that claim seems to be at odds with his statement, which tries to bend the knee to the #metoo movement while claiming innocence.
“This is unacceptable behavior for anyone with institutional power,” he said. Morse questioned the timing of the allegations, noting that the investigation can’t be completed until after the election.
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