First-term Democratic Congressman Ruben Kihuen (KEY'-win) of Nevada is denying allegations of sexual harassment but says he won't seek re-election.
"The allegations that have surfaced would be a distraction from a fair and thorough discussion of the issues in a reelection campaign". The report claimed a campaign staffer quit after receiving multiple unwanted advances.
When the story came out, Kihuen apologized for any behavior that made the woman feel uncomfortable. She claimed he asked her to sit on his lap and sent dozens of suggestive Facebook messages and hundreds of text messages.
A second unnamed woman, who worked as a lobbyist in Carson City when Kihuen was a state senator, came forward this week with similar accusations of harassment against the lawmaker, according to the Nevada Independent.
Representative Carolyn Maloney said she will introduce a bill on Friday that says companies can not block sexual harassment victims from publicly disclosing the details of their allegations, which often are included in settlement agreements.
Once considered a rising star in Democratic politics, Kihuen announced Saturday that he will leave Congress at the end of his first term.
"I think he just thought he was playing around, which, I don't think he realized the position he probably put people in". He also said that he is "fully cooperating with the House Ethics Committee" in hopes of clearing his name.
Democrats remain divided on how to handle the situation.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has called for Kihuen's resignation, as has Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, who heads the Democrats' campaign arm, have called on Kihuen to resign.
Members of Congress are working on legislation to update the body's rules on sexual harassment. He denied allegations of sexual harassment but admitted allowing an unprofessional culture in his Capitol Hill office.
Several public officials have called for Kihuen to step down from his position. Sen.
Kihuen said he plans to cooperate with the House of Ethics Committee's investigation. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he likewise will not seek re-election, after media reports and allegations that he created a hostile work environment and sexually harassed female staffers.
His former communications director, Michael Rekola also told CNN that in July 2015, he was leaving the office so he could get married when Farenthold told him he'd "better have your fiancee blow you before she walks down the aisle - it will be the last time".