Female Democratic candidate leaves race over old sexual harassment charge

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Accusations of sexual harassment have caused a Democratic congressional candidate to drop out of the race, but in a twist, this time it was a man making the claim, and a female candidate taking the fall.

Andrea Ramsey is abandoning her bid for congress due to a 2005 lawsuit which alleges that she sexually harassed a male subordinate. He said he rejected her advances, and she retaliated, according to The Kansas City Star.

From the Star:

Multiple sources with knowledge of the case told The Star that the man reached a settlement with LabOne, the company where Ramsey was executive vice president of human resources.

Court documents show that the man, Gary Funkhouser, and LabOne agreed to dismiss the case permanently after mediation in 2006.

In late March 2005, Ramsey made sexual advances toward him on a business trip, Funkhouser alleged in the complaint.

“After I told her I was not interested in having a sexual relationship with her, she stopped talking to me,” he wrote. “In the office she completely ignored me and avoided having any contact with me.”

Ramsey even moved him out of his office into a cubicle far from her office, Funkhouser wrote.

Before he rejected her advances, Ramsey “repeatedly told me she heard great things from others about my performance,” Funkhouser wrote. “After I rejected her, she told me she now was hearing bad things about my performance and on June 13, 2005, terminated my employment.”

After retiring from business, Ramsey, 56, launched a political campaign to win Kansas’s 3rd congressional seat, currently occupied by Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder, in a race that will be decided in 2018.

While Ramsey says the campaign was “promising,” she won’t be challenging Yoder after all, because she dropped out of the race on Friday.

“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 Friday.

Ramsey explained the allegation against her, saying it was lodged by “a vindictive, terminated” employee. She said that employee’s false allegations caused the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) “to decide not to support our promising campaign.”

Ramsey feels that the revolution against sexual misconduct is a slippery slope. “We are in a national moment where rough justice stands in place of careful analysis, nuance and due process,” she said in her statement.

According to the DCCC, members and candidates are to be held to the highest standard.

“If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that person should not hold public office,” said committee spokeswoman Meredith Kelly.

Ramsey has repeatedly denied the allegations against her, and posted her side of the story on her Facebook page.

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