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Nate Boulton, Forced Out Of Governor’s Race, Will Return To Iowa Senate

Iowa Public Radio
State Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines.

Democratic State Sen. Nate Boulton says he will retain his seat in the Iowa Senate, in spite of calls for his resignation.  

Boulton was accused of sexual misconduct and dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.  

That was days before the June primary, after the Des Moines Register revealed complaints from women who described being touched inappropriately by Boulton in social situations in the past.  

My perspective is likely clouded by intoxication. -Sen. Nate Boulton

In a letter on Monday, Boulton apologized for the “heartache” caused by the women’s stories, repeating his assertion that he remembers the incidents differently.

But he also admitted to binge drinking in the past.

“I absolutely do have differing accounts, but my perspective is likely clouded by intoxication,” Boulton said.  “Excessive drinking has no doubt led me to misread appropriate social boundaries and make choices that I would never tolerate while sober.”

Boulton said he has quit drinking, and he says he will return to the legislature in January “humbled but determined.”

Sen. Boulton will now need to answer to voters in his district. -Sen. Janet Petersen

Earlier, Senate Democratic leader Janet Petersen said Boulton should resign from the Iowa Senate or face an independent investigation.   Other fellow Democrats also called for his resignation. 

Monday, Petersen, who is out of the country this week, said in a written statement that Boulton must answer to the voters in his district, and a “potential independent investigation.”

"I am disappointed by Sen. Boulton's decision,” Peterson wrote. "When I called on Sen. Boulton to resign nearly two months ago, I did it because, like many Iowans, I believe that sexual harassment and misconduct should not be tolerated by anyone, anywhere.”

“I believe each of us is stronger than our weakest moments,” Boulton added in his statement.   “The responsibilities I have to my constituents and as a dedicated advocate for working families across this state have not ended.”