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Shannon Edwards, 33, the woman who felled a sitting eight-term Congressman through an affair gone wrong, is once again in the news. Just five short months after the embarrassing and public downfall of Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), 65, for a myriad of bad behaviours, Edwards is running for office.
And not just any office; she announced her own candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives, in Pennsylvania’s 14th District. While it is not the same constituency as Murphy’s District 18, they are adjacent and the boundary is yet another slap in his face.
An Affair to Remember–Unfortunately
How did this once lovely relationship of two consenting adults, albeit married to other people, jump the rails and plunge into fiery depths of career destruction and national humiliation? It began innocently enough when Edwards, a forensic psychologist, sought out Murphy, also a psychologist, to discuss mental health legislation in 2015. But it ended abruptly with this private text message in 2016 after Edwards read a Facebook post by Murphy:
“And you have 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.”
Why, oh, why do such seemingly bright people put these kinds of intimate and career-ending conversations in writing with technology that cannot be deleted? You see, Murphy is unwavering on his political pro-life stance. He was lauded by the Family Research Council, endorsed by LifePAC, and was a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus. Urging an abortion for your extra-marital relationship doesn’t garner favor with those types of organizations. Apparently, there was a pregnancy scare that was unfounded, but it set a cataclysmic train of events in motion.
Murphy, running on instinct and adrenalin, attempted to wriggle out of the situation when he texted this lame reply, “I get what you say about my March for life messages. I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt that was the response she was angling for when she called him out.
And we may have never known about the tangled web of hypocrisy between the star-crossed lovers had Edwards’ spouse not pushed for divorce documents to be unsealed. Judge Hens-Greco agreed, citing that the rights of a free press outweighed those of the adulterers, and that’s how the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette came into possession of texts that would topple the philandering duo.
What’s Good For The Goose
But hold on a minute—it appears that only one of the illicit lovers was affected by the publicity; Murphy took a tumble into the raging fires of public opinion while Edwards rose from the funeral pyre like the mythical Phoenix. How did that come about?
I’m not suggesting that Murphy should be rewarded for his deep level of dishonesty as it relates to his political success; his story is as old as Proverbs 22:8 –“He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.” And boy oh boy, that rod fell with a loud and echoing clunk.
But what will become of Edwards, a willing participant in adultery, seemingly nonplussed in the face of her own behavior, now seeking to represent the conservatives of Pennsylvania’s 14th District? A sincere apology perhaps would help her cause, but no admission of wrongdoing, only “human” error in her own vigorous defense, has crossed her lips. In her own words, as she stood upon the opulent staircase of the Allegheny County Courthouse as she announced her candidacy, she pledged, “I promise to be loyal to my constituents.” Do the people of District 14 believe that? Time will certainly tell.
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