Democratic Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen said on Saturday he won’t seek re-election in 2018 just one day after the House Ethics Committee said it would investigate allegations of sexual harassment from two women.
The investigation comes after a Dec. 1 BuzzFeed report detailed a former campaign worker’s allegations. The woman, who was identified as Samantha, claimed Kihuen repeatedly propositioned her for sex while she was campaigning for him in the 2015 primary race, even after she had rejected him multiple times. She quit over the harassment, she told Buzzfeed.
“We should get a hotel room here,” Kihuen allegedly told her.
“I said ‘no’ very firmly and he just laughed at me,” Samantha told the publication. “It was humiliating.”
In a statement to Buzzfeed, Kihuen apologized for making her “feel uncomfortable.”
“The staff member in question was a valued member of my team,” he said. “I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable.”
Another woman who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal told The Nevada Independent that the congressman kissed her face several times while at a fundraising party.
“He was notorious,” she told the publication. “We work with [numerous members of Congress] and none of them have texted people in the office or kissed or done anything suggestive.”
In his announcement Saturday that he would not seek re-election, Kihuen denied the allegations against him.
“I want to state clearly again that I deny the allegations in question,” Kihuen said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I am committed to fully cooperating with the House Ethics Committee and look forward to clearing my name.”