Nevada Democrat Is the Latest Subject of Sexual Misconduct Charges

Image by Worker Station, via Flickr Creative Commons. https://www.flickr.com/photos/workerstation/

Yesterday, Nevada Democrat Reuben Kihuen announced he would not run for re-election because of the miasma of sexual harassment allegations engulfing him. There are two main allegations.

One from a campaign worker:

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 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.

A second from a lobbyist (as an aside, I believe basically any story of sexual misconduct a female lobbyist tells):

The woman, who requested anonymity because of concerns about being identified and the possible consequences in Nevada’s small political world, says that Kihuen touched her thighs or buttocks on three separate occasions without her consent. She also showed the Independent hundreds of suggestive text messages she received from Kihuen — including invitations to come sit on his lap in the middle of a committee hearing and repeated requests to spend the night at her place — over the course of the 2015 legislative session.

Once, he texted her to ask, “What color are your panties?” When she wouldn’t tell him, he said it “Makes me sad ” and that “My day can’t go on without knowing.”

She rejected outright, ignored or otherwise attempted to rebuff his persistent advances. The behavior was a continuation of what transpired in the 2013 legislative session, when he sent her dozens of Facebook messages.

Unlike some other instances, the main complainant reported the allegations contemporaneously with their occurrence.

Kihuen represents Nevada’s Fourth District which looks to be reliably Democrat +4 even though the seat has swung back and forth. Kihuen beat Republican Crescent Hardy who had beaten Democrat incumbent Steven Horsford. Depending upon who runs, this seat may or may not be competitive.