Embattled Secretary of State Tom Schedler won’t seek re-election for 3rd term

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Secretary of State Tom Schedler said Wednesday he will not resign from his statewide public office, despite being sued for sexual harassment by an employee in his agency.

Several elected officials have suggested Schedler, a Republican, step down because of the accusations a state employee laid out in a lawsuit last month. Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, released a statement two weeks ago saying he wanted Schedler to step down immediately. 

“Because of the number of specific and serious allegations in the lawsuit and the fact that he has admitted to conduct that by definition is sexual harassment, he should immediately resign his position,” said Edwards in a written statement.

State Sens. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, head of the state Democratic Party, and Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, head of the Louisiana Legislative Woman’s Caucus, have also said he should leave the job. Hewitt is considering running as a Republican candidate for governor in 2019.

Not everyone has been convinced Schedler should step down though. U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., and Louis Gurvich, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana, implied two weeks ago that Schedler should not resign. Attorney General Jeff Landry and State Treasurer John Schroder, both Republicans, declined to comment on whether Schedler should step down when asked last month.   

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