Published: Fri, May 25, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Nate Boulton to suspend campaign amid sexual misconduct allegations

Nate Boulton to suspend campaign amid sexual misconduct allegations

Sharon Wegner of Des Moines, attorney Jessica Millage of Des Moines and a third woman, who requested to remain unnamed for fear of retaliation in the workplace, told The Des Moines Register Boulton had subjected them to sexual harassment.

Nate Boulton of sexual misconduct, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate on May 24 suspended his campaign, fewer than two weeks before the primary election.

"I think I owe it to those people who have supported me to have that vision tested at the ballot box", he said. "That means making sure we have the wage growth we need, that we have the quality of life for workers in this state, so that they want to stay here, so that our youngest-our best and brightest-stay in our communities across Iowa, and that we can recruit the next generation of skilled workers that we need".

"These last 48 hours have been trying", Boulton said in a statement released Thursday morning announcing the suspension of his campaign.

In the aftermath of the report, a mix of Democrats and Republicans called on Boulton to quit the race.

Boulton, who announced in May 2017 he would seek the Democratic nomination for governor, did not deny the allegations.

"Regardless of the difference in my memory or the context of the situation, it is not my place to disqualify what these women felt at the time or in hindsight", the statement reads.

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The accusations will throw further uncertainty into the contest, which could be decided in a party convention if no candidate secures 35 percent of the vote next month.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61, which had endorsed Boulton's campaign, issued a statement from president Danny Homan supporting Boulton's decision.

The Register report roiled the campaign less than two weeks before the June 5th primary.

"Let me be very clear, there is no place for sexual misconduct or harassment in politics or anywhere else".

The allegations were revealed in a Des Moines Register article in which Boulton was interviewed.

In 2017, a former Senate Republican staffer won a $1.75 million settlement from the state after she alleged sexual harassment and retaliation at the Capitol. The state later reached a $1.75 million settlement.

Democratic Candidate John Norris also released a statement. Reynolds has been criticized in recent months for how she handled the March firing of a longtime political ally, Dave Jamison, who was accused of harassing female subordinates for years while he served as the head of a state housing agency.

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