Iowa State Sen. Nate Boulton, one of six candidates in the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, announced Thursday that he will suspend his campaign following accusations of sexual misconduct.
On Wednesday, The Des Moines Register reported that three women accused Boulton of sexual misconduct, including an allegation that he repeatedly grabbed one woman’s behind at a bar in 2015. Two other women told the paper that Boulton rubbed his crotch against them over a decade ago in law school, “pressing his erect penis into their thighs.”
“These the last 48 hours have been trying,” Boulton said in a statement. “I again offer an apology to those whom I have harmed in any way. It is my hope there is some positive that can come from this moment as we strive to be the better people we can be in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. I know that will be my task moving on from here.”
Boulton didn’t deny the allegations to the Register but said: “I don’t have the same recollection. But I am not going to offer any additional context to this, other than to say if someone’s perspective is that it was inappropriate and I crossed a line and I misread a situation in a social setting, I do apologize.”
Two weeks ahead of Iowa’s primary, a recent poll indicated that Boulton was in second place, running behind retired businessman Fred Hubbell. The winner will face incumbent Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.