A freshman Democratic lawmaker accused of sexual harassment announced he won't seek re-election

  • Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen of Nevada said Saturday he will not seek re-election after facing multiple sexual misconduct allegations.
  • Top Democrats have called for Kihuen to step down, but he said Saturday he intends to serve out his two-year term.
  • The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it would open an investigation into the allegations against Kihuen.

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, a Nevada Democrat accused of sexually harassing multiple women, said Saturday he intends to serve out his two-year term but will not seek re-election.

“I want to state clearly again that I deny the allegations in question,” Kihuen said in a statement, adding that the accusations would be a distraction during a re-election bid. “Therefore, it is in the best interests of my family and my constituents to complete my term in Congress and not seek re-election.”

Kihuen has faced calls by top Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, to step down. The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it will open an investigation into the allegations, which Kihuen said Saturday he intends to fully cooperate with.

“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.

Kihuen allegedly made unwanted sexual advances toward a former campaign finance aide during his 2016 campaign and touched her thighs without consent, BuzzFeed News first reported. The woman said she quit after the incident.

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.

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