Connecticut Rep. Elizabeth Esty not seeking re-election to US House

WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) - Connecticut Democrat Elizabeth Esty announced on Monday that she will not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in November, just hours after she asked the Ethics Committee to expedite its review of her August 2016 dismissal of a staffer.

Esty dismissed her former top aide, Tony Baker, after learning in May 2016 of allegations that he had harassed a junior staffer in her office, her letter to the House Ethics Committee said.

The lawmaker came under fire with calls for her resignation coming from her own party after reports revealed her chief of staff stayed employed for three months after making a death threat against a former colleague, according to the Washington Post.

Esty said in announcing her decision not to run for re-election that she "could have and should have done better" to protect women in her office from harassment.

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Rep. Elizabeth Esty
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Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT 5th District), speaks at a forum to examine evidence-based violence prevention and school safety measures. The forum was held on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (Photo by Cheriss May) (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Representative Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from Connecticut, speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, and bipartisan members of Congress to discuss school and community safety in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Trump has vowed to pass new laws designed to curb campus gun violence following the Feb. 14 shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school in which 17 people were killed and more than a dozen more wounded. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) speaks during a news conference with more than 80 family members and friends of people who were killed by gun violence and Congressional Democrats to call for action on gun violence prevention at the U.S. Capitol December 15, 2016 in Washington, DC. The news conference comes on the heels of the 4th anniversary of the massacre of 20 students and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: (L-R) Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) hold a news conference about new legislation to enforce background checks for gun purchases in the Canon House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan King-Thompson Public Safety legislation is aimed at keeping guns from criminals & dangerously mentally ill by enforcing background checks for online and gun show purchases. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) congratulates Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) after a news conference to introduce 37 of the newly-elected House Democratic Members at the U.S. Capitol November 13, 2012 in Washington, DC. Pelosi called the conference to 'highlight the size and historic diversity of the incoming House Democratic freshmen class.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) (R) speaks as Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) (L) listens during a press availability after a House Democratic Caucus meeting January 15, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Democratic members briefed the media on the Democratic legislative agenda for the 113th Congress, including the Disaster Relief Appropriations for victims of superstorm Sandy and tougher gun control measures. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 9 - Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., stand during a candlelight vigil during the National Vigil For All Victims of Gun Violence, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, December 9, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - March 7: Elizabeth Esty (D) Connecticut is interviewed at Roll Call in Washington, D.C. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call)
Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) (R) appears with Christian Heyne (L) of the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence on Capitol Hill in Washington April 10, 2013. Heyne, who lost both of his parents to gun violence in 2005, began the reading of names of U.S. citizens killed by weapons. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) (R) appears with Christian Heyne (L) of the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence on Capitol Hill in Washington April 10, 2013. Heyne, who lost both of his parents to gun violence in 2005, began the reading of names of U.S. citizens killed by weapons. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) (C) appears with members of the Sandy Hook Ride, a team of 26 cyclists who rode 400 miles (644 km) from Newton, Connecticut in support of a common-sense solution to prevent gun violence, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 12, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST)
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"In Congress, and workplaces across the country, we need stronger workplace protections and to provide employees with a platform to raise concerns, address problems, and work to reduce and eliminate such occurrences," Esty said in a statement.

Baker is alleged to have verbally and physically assaulted the junior staffer, and went on to receive a small severance payment and letter of recommendation when he left Esty's office, according to news reports.

Esty, 58, is a third-term representative who was first elected in 2012. She is the 20th House Democrat to announce she will not seek re-election in November. More than 40 House Republicans have said they will not seek re-election.

All 435 House seats are up for grabs in November and Democrats would need to gain about two dozen seats to regain control of the House.

Esty represents a district in Connecticut where the governor, both U.S. senators and all U.S. House members are Democrats.

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Congressional lawmakers not seeking re-election come 2018
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Congressional lawmakers not seeking re-election come 2018
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) 
Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
U.S. Republican Representative Darrell Issa
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-CA)
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas)

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) 

Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)

Rep. John 'Jimmy' Duncan (R-Tenn.)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) 

(Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) 

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Washington)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-New Mexico)

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio)

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-New Jersey

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Florida

Photo Credit: Getty 

Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa.

Photo Credit: Getty

Sen. William Larkin (R-NY)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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AOL contributed to this report

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