In a press conference on Wednesday, Secretary of State Tom Schedler announced he will finish out his current term and will not run for re-election in 2019.

A lawsuit has been filed against Schedler by a former staffer of his who accuses the secretary of state of sexually harassing her and  creating a sexually tense environment at his office.

Schedler told the media stepping down amid the "unfair lawsuit" would be "cowardly."

Schedler admitted the sexual relationship with his accuser was consensual, but he has denied any sexual harassment had taken place.

Though today's press conference was the first time Schedler publicly addressed the situation,.he spoke reflectively for the 13-minute conference without saying much about neither the allegations, nor the lawsuit.

"Your first inclination--and certainly mine--was to just fold the tent and walk away to protect my family," Schedler said.sighing.

Scheduler said though his immediate inclination was to step down, but after a period of reflection he determined leaving his post would leave his office in a state of chaos amid issues regarding election security measures, upcoming mid-term elections and early voting.

"We are at a critical crossroads here at the secretary of state's office," he said. "It's time for me to dig in and be respectful for the work this office has done."

Several politicians--including Gov. John Bel Edwards-- and numerous state legislators have implored scheduler to resign from his position since the lawsuit was made public.

"I going to focus on the accomplishments of this office and the continuing things ahead of us in the short term."

Schedler has served as secretary of state since taking over the office from Jay Dardenne, who was elevated to Edwards' commissioner of administration. He was then elected to his first four-year term in 2011.

Click on the video link above to hear all of Schedler;'s comments from today's press Baton Rouge.

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