Congressional candidate Debbie Wachspress has dropped out of the PA-01 Democratic primary race. Her decision comes just days after a lawsuit alleging her repeated use of offensive language as a member of the Pennsbury School Board.
Former Pennsbury administrator Cheryl Morett filed the lawsuit Monday. It names the Pennsbury School District, Superintendent Dr. William Gretzula, and several members of the Pennsbury School Board, including Wachspress, as defendants.
Morett accuses Wachspress of using several offensive slurs at a meeting. They reference homosexuals, African Americans, and Jewish people.
Wachspress initially only addressed the use of the anti-Semitic slur in a statement Wednesday.
“In a School Board Executive Session, there was a discussion regarding language, specific words, and their effects on all of us. I recounted a story from my childhood in which I was called a “dirty k***” by a classmate – an incident I still remember vividly 42 years later. Never in my life have I denigrated anyone with words like that. The allegations in this fraudulent suit are complete and utter distortions.”
However, Wachspress released another, longer statement Thursday. It announced her decision to drop out of the race while maintaining her innocence.
“It is clear to me that these lies and distortions will be too big a distraction to overcome. I care too much about sending a Democrat to Congress to stay in the race under these circumstances.”
A debate Tuesday at Bucks County Community College was planned to involved three Democratic candidates. The debate will now likely include only two.
Wachspress’ full statement is below:
“When I first considered running for U.S. Congress a year ago, I thought I understood what I would face. I knew that lies would be told and words taken out of context, even invented, to disparage me publicly. I was concerned about the impact this would have on my family, and finally I sat our kids down and told them I was not going to run. They said, “Mom, you’re running. There’s no one who cares more and would be better at this than you.” And so, I ran — because of my kids, and because of all of our kids. I know that wrong sometimes triumphs over right, and that bullies are winning the day, both locally and nationally. But I’ve always tried my best to take a stand for right, and I ran for that reason.
Unfortunately, I now find myself in a situation where my family is going to suffer – with this recent offensive and completely false narrative of who I am – and my candidacy will also. It is clear to me that these lies and distortions will be too big a distraction to overcome. I care too much about sending a Democrat to Congress to stay in the race under these circumstances. So today, I am withdrawing my candidacy for Congress in PA-01. I’ve always been a doer, an organizer, a fighter. Despite the injustices and distortions that led to this decision, I will continue to fight as I have done my entire life for the future of our community.
I’m deeply grateful to all those who have supported my campaign and me personally throughout this effort. I have had the opportunity to meet so many good, hardworking people across Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and I look forward to helping ensure they are represented by Christina Finello in 2021. Christina has run a strong grassroots campaign and will be a tenacious fighter for the people of this district.”