It's official: #MeToo political "justice" is not partisan and it's not sexist. A female Democratic congressional candidate has announced that she will drop out of the race for a U.S. House seat after details of a 2005 sex discrimination lawsuit emerged.
Kansas Democratic candidate Andrea Ramsey, 56, who was gunning for Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder's 3rd District seat, announced that she is withdrawing from the race because the Democratic Party has pulled its support. The announcement comes after the Kansas City Star asked her about the lawsuit in which a former male subordinate claimed she sexually harassed him and retaliated against him when he rejected her advances.
"Multiple sources with knowledge of the case told The Star that the man reached a settlement with LabOne, the company where Ramsey was executive vice president of human resources," The Star reports. "Court documents show that the man, Gary Funkhouser, and LabOne agreed to dismiss the case permanently after mediation in 2006."
Ramsey issued a statement on Friday, denying the allegations and making clear that the Democratic Party is forcing her to withdraw.
"In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard," said Ramsey in the statement. "For me, that means a vindictive, terminated employee's false allegations are enough for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to decide not to support our promising campaign. We are in a national moment where rough justice stands in place of careful analysis, nuance and due process."
After detailing the case involving her, Ramsey again slammed her party. "The DCCC, as gatekeeper of endorsements and campaign funding has made its choice, once again putting its thumb on the scales by not allowing the democratic primary process to proceed," she wrote. "It must live with the consequences of its shortsighted and reactive decision to eviscerate our campaign by not providing it with structural or financial support." (Read her full statement here.)
The DCCC issued its own, much shorter statement via a spokeswoman. "If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that person should not hold public office," said Meredith Kelly.
According to Ramsey's' campaign, the pro-abortion Emily's List-endorsed candidate will drop out on Friday.
The Star, which interviewed Ramsey twice in the last two weeks, notes that Ramsey was "not a party to the lawsuit or the settlement," but is referred to throughout the lawsuit.
"Had those allegations, those false allegations, been brought against me directly instead of the company I would have fought to exonerate my name. I never would’ve settled," Ramsey told The Star on Thursday. "And I would have sued the disgruntled, vindictive employee for defamation."
The Star provides some more details on the case:
In the EEOC complaint, which alleged sex discrimination and retaliation by LabOne, Funkhouser accused Ramsey of subjecting him to “unwelcome and inappropriate sexual comments and innuendos” beginning in September 2004, when he was a LabOne human resources manager.
In late March 2005, Ramsey made sexual advances toward him on a business trip, Funkhouser alleged in the complaint. ...
Before he rejected her advances, Ramsey “repeatedly told me she heard great things from others about my performance,” Funkhouser wrote. “After I rejected her, she told me she now was hearing bad things about my performance and on June 13, 2005, terminated my employment.”
In her statement Friday, Ramsey presented her account of the incident. "Twelve years ago, I eliminated an employee’s position," she wrote. "That man decided to bring a lawsuit against the company (not against me). He named me in the allegations, claiming I fired him because he refused to have sex with me. That is a lie. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated the allegations and decided not to pursue the complaint; the man later decided to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit. Because I wasn’t a named party, I didn’t have any opportunity to participate in its resolution."