Rep. Ruben Kihuen is a freshman Congressman representing Nevada’s 4th district. In his first year in office, a former campaign staffer has accused the Democrat of sexual misconduct. The staffer, identified as only Samantha by BuzzFeed News, claims that Rep. Kihuen made several unwanted sexual advances during the campaign. She eventually resigned as his finance director.
The allegations have not bothered Rep. Kihuen, who has vowed that he will not resign.
VIDEO –Rep. Kihuen reiterates that he's not resigning amid the sexual harassment allegations from a former campaign staffer–but doesn't say what he'll do about 2018, adding: "I’m definitely not resigning. That's all I can tell you for now." pic.twitter.com/XSPKpdfnHn
— Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) December 6, 2017
“The staff member in question was a valued member of my team. I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable,” Kihuen said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “I take this matter seriously as it is not indicative of who I am. I was raised in a strong family that taught me to treat women with the utmost dignity and respect. I have spent my fifteen years in public service fighting for women’s equality, and I will continue to do so.”
Democratic leaders have called for Rep. Kihuen to step down, but he claims that they knew about the allegations during the campaign and continued to support him anyway.
Democrat Rep. Ruben Kihuen says Nancy Pelosi knew about the sexual allegations against him last year and decided to campaign for him anyway. pic.twitter.com/ldFaWcUKt3
— Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 (@RealSaavedra) December 6, 2017
“I’m not resigning. I plan on continuing the job that I was elected to do by the people of the 4th Congressional district [of Nevada],” Rep. Kihuen told ABC News. “I do find it interesting that the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee], leader Pelosi and chairman Ben Ray Luján… They knew about these allegations last year. They looked into them. They didn’t find anything, and they continued investing millions of dollars into my campaign. They went out there and campaigned for me. Again, I’m not going to resign. I’m going to continue the job I was elected to do and continue to represent my constituents with dignity and honor in Congress.”
Samantha confirmed to BuzzFeed News that she went to the DCCC to warn them about the sexual harassment from Rep. Kihuen.