Iowa Senators call upon Nate Boulton to leave his Senate seat after allegations of sexual harassment

Devyn Leeson

Iowa Senate Democratic leadership has called upon Sen. Nate Boulton, Democrat of Des Moines to resign his Senate seat following sexual harassment allegations from three women.

The accusations against Boulton came to light in a Des Moines Register article which named Sharon Wegner of Des Moines and Jessica Millage, a Des Moines attorney.

The three women say they were touched inappropriately in varying timeframes. Wegner says the incidents, which are corroborated by a friend, happened in 2015 and Millage says she was sexually harassed by Boulton during his time at Drake Law School, which he graduated from in 2005.

The third accuser was left nameless for fear of workplace retaliation but shared a similar experience Millage’s over the same period of time.

Senate Minority leader Janet Peterson, D-Des Moines, said in a statement there would be a full investigation into the allegations if he doesn’t resign from the Iowa Senate.

This came after Boulton’s announcement he would be withdrawing from the Gubernatorial race.

“Sexual harassment is unacceptable whether it occurs in a social or professional setting,” Petersen said in her statement. “What we have learned in the last 24 hours makes it clear to me that Senator Boulton should also resign his position in the Iowa Senate. If he chooses not to do so I will support a full, independent investigation into allegations against him.”

Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Cedar Rapids, followed suit, saying on Twitter that she stands by her leader and believes Boulton should resign.

Mathis and Petersen were former Boulton supporters who helped on his campaign and endorsed him.

Cody Woodruff, member of the Carlisle School Board, member of Iowa State Student Government and Nate Boulton supporter, says that he is unsure if he should retire his seat in the Senate. 

Woodruff said he thought Boulton should leave the race in a letter to Iowa Starting Line, a left leaning political blog, but he says that he, as an optimist, still believes Nate is truly a good person. 

“Then again, I am not one of his colleagues in the Senate so I am not in a position to tell him to stay or leave,” Woodruff said.