Politics

The First Democratic Woman Accused Of Sexual Harassment, Drops Out Of Campaign

Kansas Democrat Andrea Ramsey announced she is dropping out of the race amid sexual harassment allegations.  Ramsey was running against Rep. Kevin Yoder for a 2018 House seat.

The Kansas City Star reported a 2005 lawsuit against LabOne, the company where Ramsey worked as an executive vice president of human resources.  Gary Funker filed the suit alleging that she sexually harassed him and retaliated against him after he rejected her advances.

The suit was settled and Funkhouser agreed to permanently dismiss the case after mediation.  Ramsey has denied the allegations in a statement regarding dropping out of the race, saying that she “[has] chosen to use these false allegations against me for political purposes.” 

Ramsey also said that after the EEOC investigated, Funkerhouse ultimately dismissed the lawsuit voluntarily.  She also said that she was not part of the resolution since she wasn’t named a party. 

“‘In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard,’ Ramsey said in a statement.

“For me, that means a vindictive, terminated employee’s false allegations are enough for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to decide not to support our promising campaign. We are in a national moment where rough justice stands in place of careful analysis, nuance and due process.'”

The DCCC released a statement about the allegations, although they have not made an endorsement in the primary. 

“‘Members and candidates must all be held to the highest standard. If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that person should not hold public office,’ DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said in a statement provided to The Hill.”

Democrats have made the district a priority, as they are seeking to flip 24 seats net year.  Hillary Clinton won the district in the Kansas City-area by a little over 1 point in 2016.  

Ramsey stated that she’s been considered as a front-runner in the race and would have been the Democrat’s best chance to flip the seat.  Ramsey was also backed by EMILY’s list, which aims to elect women who support abortion rights.  

“In light of the allegations, EMILY’s List issued a statement, ‘We understand that Andrea Ramsey has dropped out of the race. We support her decision and we wish her well.'”