U.S. Rep. Christopher Lee of the 26th congressional district is resigning immediately after the media and gossip site Gawker reported the married Republican sent a shirtless photos to a woman on Craigslist.
Here is his statement:
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.
“The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately.”
The picture Lee allegedly sent to the unnamed woman features him taking a photo of himself in the mirror without a shirt on and flexing a bicep. His spokesman told Gawker that Lee is “happily married” and last posted something on the Internet when he wanted to sell some furniture.
This is easily one of the shortest resignations in recent memory following exceedingly bad press. The site first posted the story in the middle of the afternoon and it quickly spread across some blogs and on Twitter.
Lee, a Kenmore, Erie County native, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2008.
There was also some speculation today that Lee’s seat would have been gerrymandered out of existence following the expected redistricting process set to begin this year. New York is expected to lose at least one seat in the House of Representatives.
It will be up to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to set the date for a special election to fill Lee’s seat.