By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
BRIGHTON ? While guberantorial candidate Nate Boulton did not attend the candidate forum held by the Washington, Jefferson, Keokuk and Henry county Democrats Wednesday evening, the candidates who did attend gave their takes on charges of sexual improporiety that had been leveled against Boulton earlier in the day.
Before the four democratic candidates were given time for their opening remarks, master of ceremonies Harold Frakes of the Washington County Democrats read a statement from Boulton?s campaign. The 80 people who attended the event at the Lake Darling State Park lodge listened without comment.
?These allegations made against Nate are regarding incidents in social settings among peers and can in no way be equated to the disgraceful actions taken by men across the country and in the Iowa statehouse who have assault, harassed and threatened women with workplace consequences,? Frakes read. He said that Boulton has apologized publically and has offered to apologize in person to the accusers. Frakes also said that Boulton would not be resigning his senate seat nor would he withdraw his candidacy for governor.
This morning, Boulton?s campaign released a statement saying he would suspend his campaign for governor.
On Wednesday, the Des Moines Register reported that three women had accused Boulton of inappropriate sexual conduct. So far, Boulton has not denied the allegations, although Frakes read that Boulton said he remembers the incidents differently than the women.
Toward the end of his opening statement Wednesday evening, candidate John Norris, without mentioning Boulton by name, said he had been confirmed by the U.S. senate twice with full FBI background investigations.
?Hopefully you can be reassured I have no surprises,? he said. ?I want you to be reassured there are no surprises in my background that will come up in this election.?
Candidate Andy McGuire, former Chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, said that sexual harassment or misconduct of any kind could not be tolerated.
?it is not enough to apologize and move on,? she said. ?For the good of the Democratic Party and for the good of the future of our state, Nate Boulton should lead by example and end his campaign for governor.?
Candidate Ross Wilburn, former Mayor of Iowa City, agreed Boulton should end his campaign. He recognized the courage shown by the people who came forward.
?I too believe Sen. Boulton needs to back out of the race,? he said. ?it is beyond Democrat or Republican. We cannot have that cloud over our chief executive.?
While she had made an earlier statement that Boulton should end his campaign, candidate Cathy Glasson kept her statements on the issue short.
?We need a governor we can trust in this state that is going to stand up and fight for fair treatment of all women, and that is all I?m going to say today,? she said.