Nevada Democrat Ruben Kihuen Won’t Seek Reelection After Sexual Harassment Allegations

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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 mentioned Kihuen repeatedly harassed and made sexual advances towards her final 12 months throughout his marketing campaign, main her to stop after only some months on the job.

A second girl then instructed the Nevada Unbiased earlier this week that Kihuen had repeatedly made undesirable sexual advances on 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 mentioned in an announcement on Saturday. “I’m dedicated to totally cooperating with the Home Ethics Committee and I sit up for clearing my title.”

“Nonetheless, the allegations which have surfaced can be a distraction from a good and thorough dialogue of the problems in a reelection marketing campaign,” he mentioned. “Subsequently, it’s in one of the 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 known as for his resignation when offered with the main points of the article and Minority Chief Nancy Pelosi mentioned Kihuen ought to resign a number of hours later, however he refused to take action.

Kihuen’s determination 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 long-time protégé of former Senate Majority Chief Harry Reid. Kihuen is a DREAMer and infrequently talked about his immigrant expertise on the marketing campaign path and in Congress, pushing for laws to guard these, like himself, who have been delivered to the US illegally as youngsters. The topic was additionally central to his speech on the Democratic Nationwide Conference in 2016. Earlier than getting into Congress, Kihuen spent a decade within the Nevada legislature.

Kihuen’s former marketing campaign finance director, Samantha (whose final title BuzzFeed Information withheld), alleged that Kihuen propositioned her for dates and intercourse regardless of repeated rejections. She mentioned he touched her thighs twice with out consent.

In an announcement to BuzzFeed Information for the preliminary story, Kihuen mentioned:

The workers member in query was a valued member of my crew. I sincerely apologize for something that I could have mentioned or performed that made her really feel uncomfortable. I take this matter severely as it isn’t indicative of who I’m. I used to be raised in a powerful household that taught me to deal with girls with the utmost dignity and respect. I’ve spent my fifteen years in public service combating for ladies’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 not less than 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 repute for consistently pursuing and flirting with younger girls was an “open secret.”

One former Nevada State Meeting intern mentioned 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 mentioned. “The extra you simply let it go, the farther alongside he will get.”

Kihuen’s full assertion:

Nothing is extra essential 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 the USA Home of Representatives.

The assist and encouragement of my constituents gives me with the power and steerage to signify Nevada to one of the best of my talents.

I wish to state clearly once more that I deny the allegations in query. I’m dedicated to totally cooperating with the Home Ethics Committee and I sit up for clearing my title.

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.

Nonetheless, the allegations which have surfaced can be a distraction from a good and thorough dialogue of the problems in a reelection marketing campaign. Subsequently, it’s in one of the best pursuits of my household and my constituents to finish my time period in Congress and never search reelection.

Kate Nocera is the DC Bureau Chief for BuzzFeed’s Washington, DC bureau. Nocera is a recipient of the Nationwide Press Basis’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting on Congress.

Contact Kate Nocera at [email protected]

Tarini Parti is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed Information and is predicated in Washington, DC.

Contact Tarini Parti at [email protected]

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