Rep. Ruben Kihuen won't seek re-election amid sexual harassment allegations


On Thursday, embattled Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold, who settled an $84,000 sexual harassment lawsuit with his former communications director in 2015, said he will not run for re-election after the House Ethics Committee announced it would conduct an investigation. "However, the allegations that have surfaced would be a distraction from a fair and thorough discussion of the issues in a reelection campaign".

Kihuen's former finance director told Buzzfeed in a December 2 story that Kihuen repeatedly propositioned her for dates and sex during the 2016 congressional campaign, offers she rejected.

Kihuen's plan to not seek re-election is the latest sign of the reckoning over sexual harassment allegations on Capitol Hill.

The announcement comes after the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into the lawmaker.

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.

Once considered a rising star in Democratic politics, Kihuen announced Saturday that he will leave Congress at the end of his first term.

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"As I've said previously, I intend to fully cooperate, and I welcome an opportunity to clear my name", Kihuen said in response to the Ethics Committee one-page statement.

"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", he said.

"I've asked for him to resign". If true, Hoyer said Kihuen should resign.

Last week, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., retired weeks after former aides shared stories of habitual sexual harassment. Sen. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the panel should review the allegations.

Kihuen said Saturday he would serve out his term in Nevada's 4th congressional district, which includes North Las Vegas, Mesquite and Pahrump.