Boulton suspends his campaign, but may have to quit Iowa Senate as well

UPDATE:  Boulton's campaign this morning released a statement saying he was suspending his campaign for Governor:

Today, Nate Boulton is suspending his campaign for governor. His statement is below.

“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.”

The Senate Democratic Leader, Janet Petersen of Des Moines, issued a statement Thursday morning stating that Senator Nate Boulton should also quit his Iowa Senate role:

"Sexual harassment is unacceptable whether it occurs in a social or professional setting. What we have learned in the last 24 hours makes 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."

Three women are accusing a Democratic state senator and candidate for Iowa governor of sexually harrassing them.  

In a copyrighted article, the Des Moines Register says one of the women says she was inappropriately touched by Boulton in a bar in 2015.  Two others say their incidents happend more than a decade ago when Boulton was in law school.

Boulton's campaign released an email stating that Boulton "doesn't have the same recollection as the women". But he also includes an apology for any actions the women felt were inappropriate.

The campaign does include in the statement that Boulton's actions in those social settings "in no way equates to the disgraceful actions taken by men across the country and in the Iowa Statehouse.

The statement says anything Boulton did was "outside the employment context" and "prior to holding public office."

Senator Boulton also cancelled an appearance with four of the other Democratic candidates for governor in Washington County Wednesday night.


Cathy Glasson, fellow Democratic candidate for Governor:  These reports of sexual misconduct about Sen. Boulton today are extremely disturbing. We need a Governor we can trust to stand up and fight for fair treatment for Iowa women. Nate Boulton’s behavior disqualifies him from leading our state government.

John Norris, Democratic candidate for Governor:  Let me be very clear, there is no place for sexual misconduct or harrassment in politics or anywhere else.  This behavior is unacceptable and intolerable no matter where it takes place.  My heart goes out to the women who endured this behavior and I applaud their bravery in coming forward, and every woman who has come forward in the Me Too movement before them.

Andy McGuire, Democratic candidate for Governor:  We cannot criticize others and condone such behavior inside the Democratic Party. It’s not enough to apologize and move on. For the good of the Democratic Party and for the good of the future of our state, Nate Boulton should lead by example and end his campaign for Governor.

Ross Wilburn, Democratic candidate for Governor (at Democratic forum at Lake Darling in Washington County):  I do too believe that Senator Boulton should step down. We cannot have that cloud on our chief of state. (Neither Boulton nor Fred Hubbell were in attendance).

Jeff Kauffman, Republican Party of Iowa chairman:  The allegations against Nate Boulton as reported by the Des Moines Register are deeply disturbing and our hearts go out to each victim.“Last September, Nate Boulton said, ‘The statehouse, state government, should lead by example and not be — unfortunately — a bad example.’“We ask that Boulton live by his word, lead by example, and step down as both a gubernatorial candidate and as a State Senator.

Senator Janet Petersen, Iowa Senate Democratic Leader:  Iowans should not tolerate sexual harassment, and women who come forward to tell their stories show great courage. “The allegations reported in the Des Moines Register are a serious matter for Senator Boulton.  These allegations are detailed and compelling. “Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be tolerated by anyone, anywhere.

In addition, two Democratic State Legislators who initially endorsed Nate Boulton's campaign for governor, Representatives Bruce Hunter of Des Moines and Art Staed of Cedar Rapids, announced they were withdrawing their support.

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