(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
One of the most competitive races in Colorado’s state legislature pits a woman who led the charge to expose a culture of sexual harassment at the Capitol against a woman who protected an alleged perpetrator of that harassment from expulsion.
Democratic State Rep. Faith Winter is vying for the Adams County seat that’s currently occupied by State Sen. Republican Beth Martinez Humenik, and how voters are reacting to the #MeToo movement could be a decisive factor in the outcome of the race, which could determine whether Democrats gain control of state government.
Winter led the charge to expose rampant sexual misconduct at Colorado’s Capitol after she publicly accused Steve Lebsock, a fellow Democratic state lawmaker, of sexually harassing her. After Winter came forward, several other women brought similar allegations against Lebsock, leading to his expulsion from the state’s House of Representatives.
Lebsock was expelled with the support of many Republican lawmakers. But when it came time to consider the expulsion of an alleged serial sexual harasser within their own party, Republicans in the state Senate, including Humenik, protected their own.
Republican State Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulfur Springs was accused of harassing several women at the capitol, including groping them and making unwanted sexual comments. Despite the fact that the allegations were found to be credible by a third-party investigation, a resolution to expel Baumgardner failed, with only one Republican state senator voting in favor of the expulsion. Humenik voted to keep Baumgardner in the Senate.