Nate Boulton says he’s staying in the Iowa State Senate despite accusations of sexual misconduct

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State Sen. Nate Boulton. — official photo

In a statement released late Monday afternoon, Democrat Nate Boulton said he plans to remain in the Iowa State Senate, despite the allegation of sexual misconduct that forced him to drop out of the race for governor in May.

“The responsibilities I have to my constituents and as a dedicated advocate for working families across this state have not yet ended,” Boulton, a first-term senator representing part of Des Moines, said in his statement.

Boulton had been in second place in polls before dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination for governor following a Des Moines Register report in which three women accused him of “touching them without their consent.”

Boulton’s statement begins with an apology, not addressed to the three women, but anyone who was upset when the women’s complaints were made public.

“I cannot apologize enough for the heartache caused by the stories of those who came forward in May,” he wrote. “To those individuals, my supporters, my constituents, and my friends and family: I am sorry. I commit to making sure such questions are never raised again about my conduct.”

In his statement, Boulton said he remembers the incidents differently than the three women do, which is what he told the Register in May. However, he now attributes his behavior to binge-drinking.

“I have made progress with my drinking behavior since last year and, to show this is something that I take quite seriously, for months have not had a single drink,” Boulton wrote. “I made this change because I want to be the man I believe myself to be — and the man my supporters believed in.”

Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen issued a statement after Boulton sent out his. “I am disappointed by Senator Boulton’s decision,” Petersen, another Des Moines Democrat, wrote. “When I called on Senator Boulton to resign two months ago, I did it because, like many Iowans, I believe that sexual harassment and misconduct should not be tolerated by anyone, anywhere.”

Boulton is not up for reelection until 2020.

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