Democratic Iowa gubernatorial candidate Nate Boulton has been accused of sexual misconduct by three Women, the Des Moines Register reported Wednesday.
Three women told the newspaper that Boulton, one of multiple Democrats running in June's primary for his party's nomination, touched them in a sexual manner without their consent.
One woman said Boulton repeatedly grabbed her from behind at a bar in 2015, while two others say the candidate inappropriately touched them more than a decade ago when they and Boulton were students together in law school.
Boulton said in a statement to the Register that he remembered the situations differently, but would not deny the accusations and apologized for misreading social situations.
“I don’t have the same recollection,” he told the Register. “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," he said.
“I think if I add context it quickly becomes victim-blaming, and I don’t want to go down that path," he added.
Boulton is in second place among the six Democrats vying for the nomination, according to a recent Des Moines Register poll which shows him trailing businessman Fred Hubbell by 11 points. He told the newspaper that he does not anticipate dropping out of the race over the allegations.
“I think I owe it to those people who have supported me to have that vision tested at the ballot box,” he said.
The winner of June's Democratic primary will face incumbent Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, previously the state's lieutenant governor, who was sworn in after former Gov. Terry Branstad was selected as President Trump's ambassador to China.
Reynolds, as Branstad's running mate, won reelection in 2014 with 59 percent of the vote.