‘Resign,’ A Top Statehouse Leader Tells Lawmaker Accused of Inappropriate Sexual Behavior; He Has Refused
DES MOINES, Iowa–The top Iowa Democrat in the senate wants one of her members who is dealing with the aftermath of sexual misconduct scandal to resign or she has threatened to support an investigation into his past.
Thursday morning, Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat, issued a statement that called for State Senator Nate Boulton, who is also a Des Moines Democrat, to resign his position. Wednesday, the Des Moines Register published a story where three women alleged that Boulton touched them inappropriately during different occasions back when he was in law school more than a decade ago and more recently in 2015, as he prepared a run for the senate.
Here is Petersen’s statement:
“Sexual harassment is unacceptable whether it occurs in a social or professional setting. What we have learned in the last 24 hoursmakes it clear to me that Senator Boulton should also resign his position in the Iowa Senate.“If he chooses not to do so, I will support a full, independent investigation into allegations against him.”
“I am so proud of the campaign that my staff, my supporters, and I ran in the past year,” said Boulton. “I was and still am inspired every day by the people who have chosen to fight alongside me in the Senate and on the campaign trail to share a positive vision forward for this incredible state of Iowa.”
“Democrats must win in November so we can begin to turn our state around,” said Boulton. “We join together to support the nominee and elect Democrats up and down the ticket. I will do all II can to support that mission and will never stop fighting for progressive causes.”
“These the last 48 hours have been trying. I again offer an apology to those whom I have harmed in any way. It is my hope there is some positive that can come from this moment as we strive to be the better people we can be in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. I know that will be my task moving on from here.”
“Thank you to everyone who stood with me in this campaign, especially the countless working families of the labor movement who joined me in this race and must now continue to fight for their way of life in this state. While I depart this campaign for governor with a heavy heart, I remain resolved to the greater cause creating a future Iowa we all can be proud to call our home.”
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price released a statement that supported Boulton's decision to drop out of the race for governor but he stopped short of calling for Boulton to also leave the senate.
Here is Price's statement:
“The Iowa Democratic Party has always been and will always be a place where everyone is welcome and included in the process of making our state and country a better place. Standing up for those who have been marginalized, forgotten, or ignored is a core value of the Democratic Party, as such, we as a community have a special obligation to strongly condemn every incident of sexual harassment, particularly when it occurs within our own party.
I admire those who had the courage to step forward, and I believe Senator Boulton did the right thing by suspending his campaign. We hope that he will prioritize the values of the Iowa Democratic Party, and every Democrat we represent, as he makes his decision about his future. Whatever decision he makes, we support a full and thorough investigation by the Iowa Senate into this matter.
We can and must do better.
This is not the end of the conversation. We firmly believe that the events of the last 24 hours are a step towards creating the social change we so desperately need; but, it won’t happen without folks like you stepping up to be part of the solution. Please help us move forward."