Mike Segar / Reuters
Nevada Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen introduced Saturday that he wouldn’t search reelection amid sexual harassment allegations from his former marketing campaign finance director.
In early December, BuzzFeed Information first reported the allegations of the previous staffer, who stated Kihuen repeatedly harassed and made sexual advances towards her final 12 months throughout his marketing campaign, main her to give up after just a few months on the job.
A second lady then instructed the Nevada Impartial earlier this week that Kihuen had repeatedly made undesirable sexual advances towards her when she was a lobbyist and he was a state senator.
“I wish to state clearly once more that I deny the allegations in query,” Kihuen stated in an announcement on Saturday. “I’m dedicated to completely cooperating with the Home Ethics Committee and I look ahead to clearing my identify.”
“Nevertheless, the allegations which have surfaced can be a distraction from a good and thorough dialogue of the problems in a reelection marketing campaign,” he stated. “Due to this fact, it’s in the very best pursuits of my household and my constituents to finish my time period in Congress and never search reelection.”
Within the aftermath of the BuzzFeed Information report, there had been swift requires the freshman Democrat to step down: Democratic Congressional Marketing campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján referred to as for his resignation when offered with the small print of the article and Minority Chief Nancy Pelosi stated Kihuen ought to resign a number of hours later, however he refused to take action.
Kihuen's choice to not search reelection comes lower than two weeks after Rep. John Conyers, the longest serving member of Congress, resigned over sexual harassment allegations first revealed by BuzzFeed Information.
The Nevada Democrat was elected to Congress final November and is a longtime protégé of former Senate Majority Chief Harry Reid. Kihuen is a DREAMer and sometimes talked about his immigrant expertise on the marketing campaign path and in Congress, pushing for laws to guard these, like himself, who had been delivered to the US illegally as kids. The topic was additionally central to his speech on the Democratic Nationwide Conference in 2016. Earlier than coming into Congress, Kihuen spent a decade within the Nevada legislature.
Kihuen’s former marketing campaign finance director, Samantha (whose final identify BuzzFeed Information withheld), alleged that Kihuen propositioned her for dates and intercourse regardless of repeated rejections. She stated he touched her thighs twice with out consent.
In an announcement to BuzzFeed Information for the preliminary story, Kihuen stated:
The employees member in query was a valued member of my group. I sincerely apologize for something that I’ll have stated or accomplished that made her really feel uncomfortable. I take this matter significantly as it isn’t indicative of who I’m. I used to be raised in a powerful household that taught me to deal with ladies with the utmost dignity and respect. I’ve spent my fifteen years in public service preventing for girls’s equality, and I’ll proceed to take action.
Later the identical day, Kihuen’s workplace despatched out a brand new assertion including that he wished to “make it clear that I don’t recall any of the circumstances.” His workplace didn’t reply to a BuzzFeed Information inquiry asking whether or not he denied the occasions occurred as described.
Dozens who’ve been round Kihuen over time described to BuzzFeed Information a sample of conduct from him that was teetering on the point of misconduct. In interviews with a minimum of 30 women and men who’ve labored in Nevada politics in Carson Metropolis and in Las Vegas, Kihuen was repeatedly described as a “playboy” whose popularity for always pursuing and flirting with younger ladies was an “open secret.”
One former Nevada State Meeting intern stated, in settings with alcohol, she routinely noticed Kihuen making inappropriate jokes and at occasions giving undesirable, lengthy hugs and touches.
“Ruben tends to be very touchy-feely and flirtatious to start with,” the intern stated. “The extra you simply let it go, the farther alongside he will get.”
Kihuen's full assertion:
Nothing is extra vital to me than my household and serving my constituents. It’s the best honor of my life to signify Nevada’s Fourth District as a Member of america Home of Representatives.
The assist and encouragement of my constituents gives me with the energy and steering to signify Nevada to the very best of my skills.
I wish to state clearly once more that I deny the allegations in query. I’m dedicated to completely cooperating with the Home Ethics Committee and I look ahead to clearing my identify.
Due course of and the presumption of innocence are bedrock authorized ideas which have guided our nation for hundreds of years, they usually shouldn’t be misplaced to unsubstantiated rumour and innuendo.
Nevertheless, the allegations which have surfaced can be a distraction from a good and thorough dialogue of the problems in a reelection marketing campaign. Due to this fact, it’s in the very best pursuits of my household and my constituents to finish my time period in Congress and never search reelection.
LINK: A Member Of Congress Accused Of Harassment Is Refusing to Resign. Annoyed Democrats Cannot Make Him.