Rep. Kihuen announces he will not seek reelection

Frederick Owens
December 17, 2017

Kihuen denied wrongdoing at the time, per BuzzFeed News, and he has refused to step down now that the allegation has been made public.

"The allegations that have surfaced would be a distraction from a fair and thorough discussion of the issues in a reelection campaign".

Ruben KihuenRuben Jesus Kihuen BernalDems purging party of alleged abusers; GOP should follow suit House Dems scrubbed Kihuen from incumbent program after harassment allegations Nevada Dem says he won't resign despite calls from party leaders MORE (D-Nev.) on Saturday shortly after the freshman lawmaker announced he would not seek reelection. Democrats hope to use sexual harassment as a cudgel against President Trump and Republicans in the 2018 election cycle, and are working to enforce a zero-tolerance policy within their ranks.

"Due process and the presumption of innocence are bedrock legal principles which have guided our nation for centuries, and they should not be lost to unsubstantiated hearsay and innuendo", Kihuen added.

Democratic Party leaders first called for Kihuen to step down over allegations of sexual harassment made public in a BuzzFeed story December 1.

On Friday a second Democratic congressman, Bobby Scott of Virginia, was accused by former legislative aide Macherie Reese Everton of touching her leg and back without permission in 2013 and offering to advance her career in exchange for sex and said she was wrongfully dismissed from her job.

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Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Trent Franks, R-Ariz., have already left office this month because of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Another woman, who worked as a Nevada lobbyist while Kihuen was a state senator there, told The Nevada Independent this week that Kihuen made similar unwanted sexual advances toward her in person and through texts and Facebook messages.

The announcement came from Republican Rep. Susan Brooks of IN, the panel's chairwoman, and Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, the ranking Democrat. In recent days, former staffers also shared accounts of a toxic work environment in which Farenthold berated and bullied staffers. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the panel should review the allegations.

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., chairman of the House Democrats' campaign arm, has also called for Kihuen to step down.

Kihuen, 37, is the latest in a series of politicians brought down by harassment allegations.

"The support and encouragement of my constituents provides me with the strength and guidance to represent Nevada to the best of my abilities", he said.

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