Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen has announced he won't run for re-election amid a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed two women. "Therefore, it is in the best interests of my family and my constituents to complete my term in Congress and not seek reelection".
The Nevada Independent reported new allegations by a lobbyist who said Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen on several occasions touched her thighs and buttocks while he was a state senator, and made repeated sexual advances during the course of the 2015 legislative session. The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it will open an investigation into the allegations, which Kihuen said Saturday he intends to fully cooperate with.
The committee said in a statement it was aware of "public allegations" against the 37-year-old representative from Nevada, who was only elected last year.
Kihuen's plan to not seek re-election is the latest sign of the reckoning over sexual harassment allegations on Capitol Hill.
"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 said in his statement.
Representative Carolyn Maloney said she will introduce a bill on Friday that says companies can not block sexual harassment victims from publicly disclosing the details of their allegations, which often are included in settlement agreements.
When the story came out, Kihuen apologized for any behavior that made the woman feel uncomfortable. "In light of these upsetting allegations, Congressman Kihuen should resign".
The top House Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, called on Kihuen to resign. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Sen.
Kihuen said Saturday he would serve out his term in Nevada's 4th congressional district, which includes North Las Vegas, Mesquite and Pahrump.