Iowa gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines, speaks at the Hawkeyes for Boulton launch at Cortado on Clinton Street on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Hawkeyes for Boulton will give students the opportunity to get involved in Boulton's gubernatorial campaign on campus. (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

3 women accuse candidate for governor Nate Boulton of sexual misconduct

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Three women have accused Democratic hopeful for governor Sen. Nate Boulton of inappropriate sexual advances.

In interviews published May 23 by the Des Moines Register, one woman said Boulton grabbed her rear repeatedly in a bar in 2015, and two others said he, fully clothed, rubbed his erection against them without their consent while they were in law school about a decade ago.

Boulton does not deny the allegations. He has, however, apologized publicly.

“I want to clearly and unmistakably apologize to the women who have come forward,” Boulton said in a statement.

The state senator and union lawyer will face five other contenders for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in the June 5 primary. That election could determine who faces Republican incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds in the November election; the winner needs to garner 35 percent of the vote.

Boulton is scheduled to appear in a televised debate hosted by KCCI and the Des Moines Register on May 30.

“Nate Boulton’s behavior in the social settings referenced in the article, as described by women who were social peers, in no way equates to the disgraceful actions taken by men across the country and in the Iowa Statehouse who have assaulted, harassed, and threatened women with workplace consequences. These are not assertions that he used positions of power, threatened retaliation or reprisal, or that he was in any position to do so. These are situations outside the employment context and were prior to holding public office. Still, this is a lesson to all young men to be respectful and aware of their actions toward women,” the campaign’s statement said.

— Sarah Watson

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