In another bizarre sign of the times, a female Democrat who was running for Congress abruptly dropped out of the race amid sexual harassment allegations by a male subordinate.
Andrea Ramsey of Kansas was accused of sexually harassing a man named Gary Funkhouser in a 2005 lawsuit filed against LabOne, where she had been executive vice president of human resources. Funkhouser claimed Ramsey fired him because he refused her sexual advances.
Funkhouser dropped the lawsuit in 2006 after reaching a settlement with LabOne through mediation, the Kansas City Star reported. The sexual harassment allegations were detailed in a separate complaint Funkhouser filed with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
In his 2005 EEOC complaint, Funkhouser — who was then a human resources manager at LabOne — claimed Ramsey (who was his supervisor) repeatedly made “inappropriate sexual comments and innuendo” and hit on him during a business trip.
“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, now 56, denied the allegations, but dropped out of the Congressional race this week, saying her opponent was using the bombshell lawsuit to smear her. Ramsey was running for a seat from Kansas’ 3rd district against incumbent Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder.
In an emotional Facebook post, a furious Ramsey called the sex harassment accusations a “lie,” and said Gary Funkhouser made up the allegations because he was upset at being fired. Ramsey wrote:
“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.”
Andrea Ramsey then claimed the lawsuit was brought up by her GOP opponent as a political ploy to damage her candidacy:
“Let me be clear: I never engaged in any of the alleged behavior. And the due process that I love, that drew me to the field of law, is totally denied.
My opponents have chosen to use these false allegations against me for political purposes, not only engaging in a whisper campaign, but also contacting political and news organizations. These false allegations are disgraceful and demean the moment this country is in.”
Ramsey had been endorsed by Emily’s List, a liberal women’s group that backs female political candidates who support abortion. After learning Ramsey dropped out, Emily’s List responded by saying, “We support her decision and we wish her well.”
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