A former campaign staffer for a Democratic congressman has come forward alleging sexual harassment.
With so much focus on harassment by members of Congress, a new BuzzFeed report reveals allegations from Congressman Ruben Kihuen (D- NV)’s former finance director:
Samantha, whose last name BuzzFeed News is withholding at her request, began working for Rep. Ruben Kihuen early in his campaign to unseat Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy in December 2015 and quit by April 7, 2016. Starting in February of that year Samantha, who was 25 at the time, said Kihuen, who was then 35 and still competing in the primary race, propositioned her for dates and sex despite her repeated rejections. On two occasions, she says he touched her thighs without consent.
She says she spoke to someone at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to explain her decision to quit, and the person she spoke with confirmed her account to BuzzFeed.
Former Kihuen campaign manager Dave Chase said someone at the DCCC had called and said “the woman had quit because she felt ‘uncomfortable’ around Kihuen but he was not aware of the specifics of the allegations.”
Kihuen’s office put out this statement in response:
The staff member in question was a valued member of my team. I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable. I take this matter seriously as it is not indicative of who I am. I was raised in a strong family that taught me to treat women with the utmost dignity and respect. I have spent my fifteen years in public service fighting for women’s equality, and I will continue to do so.
DCCC chairman Ben Ray Luján is already calling on him to resign, saying, “Members and candidates must be held to the highest standard. If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, they should not hold elected office. Congressman Kihuen should resign.”
[image via screengrab]
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