Iowa: A leader of the Iowa Senate is stepping down after a video posted online showed him kissing a female lobbyist in a Des Moines bar.
In the 52-second video, posted Monday on the liberal news website Iowa Starting Line, Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix, a Republican who is married, is seen sitting next to the woman on bar stools. They chat for most of the video until the woman leans over and begins kissing Dix. Iowa Starting Line did not name the woman but says she is a “lobbyist for various municipality groups”.
The incident was recorded March 1, according to Iowa Starting Line.
A statement from Iowa Senate President Jack Whitver (Republican) said Dix’s resignation was effective at 2pm. An election to fill Dix’s spot in the Republican-controlled chamber will take place Wednesday.
Dix, 55, is a third-generation farmer whose district covers Butler, Grundy, Hardin and Story counties. He served in the Iowa House for 10 years, then left in 2006 for a failed congressional run. He was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010 and has led the Senate Republican Caucus since 2013.
He could not be immediately reached for comment by The Washington Post. His biography had been deleted from the Iowa Senate Republicans website by Monday afternoon.
Senate Democrats in a statement Monday called the incident a “serious matter” and mentioned Dix’s “failure to take any responsibility” after a former Senate staffer, Kirsten Anderson, filed a lawsuit claiming sexual harassment and discrimination. Some called for Dix’s resignation over the Senate’s treatment of the case, which was settled for $1.75 million (Dh6.4 million) and resulted in the creation of a human resources manager position to handle harassment complaints down the road.
Earlier Monday, before Dix’s resignation, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (Republican) told reporters that she was disappointed by the allegations and said she had planned to meet with him. She declined to comment further, according to AP.