A female congressional candidate has withdrawn her name from the voting ballot after sexual harassment allegations resurfaced on Friday.
Andrea Ramsey, a 56-year-old Democratic candidate from Kansas, announced the end of her campaign on social media, dropping out of the race to unseat Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan. in the state’s third congressional district. She did, however, deny the allegations.
Ramsey was accused of sexual harassment in a 2005 lawsuit, which was first reported by The Kansas City Star. A former employee of Ramsey’s at LabOne, a medical diagnostics company, alleged she sexually harassed him and then fired him after he denied her advances.
The defendant, named Gary Funkhouser, accused Ramsey of “unwelcome, unwanted and offensive sexual comments and innuendos” beginning in September 2004.
Months later, Funkhouser, who was terminated in June 2005, filed the suit against LabOne, not against Ramsey, who was the executive vice president of human resources at the company at the time.
The company settled the suit in 2006, the Star reported.
“When I was the head of human resources at a local company, I had to make difficult business decisions on a daily basis concerning budgets, training initiatives, compensation and benefits, workforce hiring and workforce terminations,” Ramsey detailed in her announcement on Friday.
“A termination decision is always the most wrenching, because it affects not only a person’s livelihood, but also an individual’s dignity and sense of self. Sometimes employees don’t take the decision well, and do things they wouldn’t otherwise do because they are angry in that moment, seeking to retaliate,” she continued.
“Twelve years ago, I eliminated an employee’s position. That man decided to bring a lawsuit against the company (not against me). He named me in the allegations, claiming I fired him because he refused to have sex with me. That is a lie,” Ramsey said.
“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated the allegations and decided not to pursue the complaint; the man later decided to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit. Because I wasn’t a named party, I didn’t have any opportunity to participate in its resolution,” she shared.
Ramsey is the latest to halt their political career amid sexual misconduct and harassment allegations.
Earlier this month, Al Franken, a Democratic junior senator from Minnesota, announced his resignation in an emotional appearance on the Senate floor after multiple women came forward with misconduct allegations against Franken.
Franken, who has been married to wife Franni Bryson since 1975, has repeatedly apologized for his inappropriate behavior, which he said was unintentional but “crossed a line” for some women.
And in November, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan stepped down as the ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee after the Ethics Committee announced its investigation into sexual harassment accusations against him.
Conyers — the most senior member of the House, holding his seat since 1965 — denied the allegations and left his post reluctantly.