Weeks after a lobbyist accused him of sexual harassment and just hours after a colleague publicly accused him of similar behavior, state Rep. Mike Zabel, D-Delaware, submitted his resignation from the House of Representatives last week. At an International Women’s Day news conference last week, state Rep. Abby Major, R-Armstrong, shared her own story of Zabel’s behavior. She and 15 other Republican female colleagues had called for his resignation, as well as at least a dozen House Democrats, several Senate Democrats, and House GOP leadership.
Zabel’s resignation letter said he would be stepping back from the role to focus on his family and health.
His resignation will take effect on March 16, after which House Speaker Joanna McClinton will schedule a special election to fill the 163rd House District seat he has occupied since 2018. After his resignation, Democrats will maintain a one-seat majority with a 101-100 split pending another special election scheduled for May 16 to fill the vacancy in state Sen. Lynda Schlegel Culver’s former House seat.