On Saturday, Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018 following allegations of sexual harassment from two women.
In a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kihuen said:
I want to state clearly again that I deny the allegations in question. … However, the allegations that have surfaced would be a distraction from a fair and thorough discussion of the issues in a reelection campaign. Therefore, it is in the best interests of my family and my constituents to complete my term in Congress and not seek reelection.
On December 1, Buzzfeed published an article in which a former female staffer for Kihuen alleged that during the 2016 campaign, the congressman “propositioned her for dates and sex despite her repeated rejections,” and “touched her thighs without consent.”
On December 13, another woman came forward alleging that Kihuen sexually harassed her when he was a state senator.
According to The Nevada Independent, the woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, claims that Kihuen “touched her thighs or buttocks on three separate occasions without her consent” and sent “hundreds of suggestive text messages,” which she showed to the outlet.
On December 15, the House Ethics Committee opened up a formal investigation into Kihuen, reports Politico.
Kihuen, who denies the allegations, released the following statement about the ethics probe: “As I’ve said previously, I intend to fully cooperate, and I welcome an opportunity to clear my name.” He added: “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.”