Woman in affair that brought down ex-GOP Rep. Murphy announces House run


A Pennsylvania psychologist whose affair with eight-term congressman Tim Murphy led to his resignation said Wednesday that she is pursuing her own bid for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Shannon Edwards, 33, announced that she is seeking the Republican nomination to face Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle.

Edwards’ candidacy was first reported by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Murphy, an outspoken opponent of abortion, resigned this past October after the Post-Gazette reported that text messages suggested he wanted Edwards to get an abortion when they thought she might be pregnant.

According to the paper, Edwards texted Murphy that he had “zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options.”

A text reply from Murphy’s number said staff was responsible for his anti-abortion messages: “I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more.”

FILE – In this April 1, 2014, file photo, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, questions General Motors CEO Mary Barra about safety defects and the recall of 2.6 million cars with faulty ignition switches, during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the newspaper obtained text messages suggesting Murphy asked a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair, Shannon Edwards, to have an abortion when he thought she might be pregnant. Edwards, it turned out, wasn't pregnant. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., was elected to Congress in 2002. He resigned this past October.  (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Murphy represented a neighboring district to the one Edwards is running in. A March 13 special election to fill the unexpired portion of Murphy’s term pits Democrat Conor Lamb against GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone.

Edwards met Murphy at a convention in 2015, and then offered to work with him on legislation to improve how Medicaid reimburses psychiatric hospitals, and to establish an official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to oversee how mental health funds are spent.

“We worked very closely on legislation that did a lot for my patients and clients. I can’t rewrite the past, and I don’t know what other course it could have gone,” she told the Post-Gazette.

Murphy, who had been in Congress since 2002, resigned days after the newspaper first disclosed the texts. He apologized and asked for privacy for his family.

Their affair became public during Edwards’ own divorce proceedings.

Edwards, a native of Cranberry, Pa., has worked as a forensic psychologist with family and criminal courts.

The Post-Gazette described Edwards as a former political independent who is now a registered Republican.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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