Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Franken in Iowa has denied allegations made by his former campaign manager, who claimed he made “several” unwelcome advances toward women, including himself.
Franken – who is 64 years old, married and has two children – denied the accusations from his former campaign manager, Kimberley Strope-Boggus, who said in an April police report that the Democratic Senate candidate “grabbed the collar of the vest she was wearing and kissed her on the mouth” before she was able to “back away” when they met for drinks at a bar on March 18 in Des Moines.
In the police report, Strope-Boggus also described Franken as “old school,” with “50s interactions with women,” which was “something he did to several other women.” In addition, at the bottom of the police report it was stated that the “case will be closed as groundless” and that no further action would be taken.
Franken told the Des Moines Register that he “had a glass of beer”, indicating that it was only one and what Strope-Boggus claimed was “baseless” and “didn’t happen”. The Hawkeye State Democrat indicated that he was also never interviewed by the Des Moines Police Department.
He accused Republicans of “targeting him” in what the… Des Moines Register called a “critical” by-election where he will face longtime incumbent Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). In the “critical” election cycle, the outlet’s most recent poll showed he was eight points ahead of Franks, with 47 percent support from Iowans compared to Franken’s 39 percent.
“I’m surprised they would come after someone like me,” he said, appearing to be untouchable by the accusations made by the former campaign managers. “But that’s fine, you know. That’s to be expected, I guess. And you know, in many ways I’m not surprised at all.”
Interestingly enough, Franken was at the campaign event too supposed to be joined by Democrat Liz Mathis, who takes on Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) in the Second Congressional District, and Democrat Christina Bohannan taking on Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) in the First Congressional District.
Franken’s campaign claimed that the other Democrats had a “schedule conflict.”
Bohannan’s campaign has yet to make a public statement about Franken’s allegations or why she missed the events. Mathis’, however, claimed she had “another engagement” that “bumped” Franken. She added that “investigators found that no criminal offenses took place and that the case was closed after being deemed unfounded by police.”
.@LizMathis1 makes statement regarding allegations against @FrankenforIowa. Her campaign says she was notified on Sept. 8 of a possible CR town hall on Sept. 19, but had not received confirmation by Friday afternoon and was balking at the Franks for a new appointment. pic.twitter.com/MwATcpWA00
— Tom Barton (@tjbarton83) September 19, 2022
Hinson, whom Mathis is up against, was quick to denounce Franken and encouraged the Democrat to do the same instead of conveniently using a “schedule conflict” not to be seen publicly with Senate hopefuls.
“Harassment is always unacceptable and the allegations against Admiral Mike Franken are deeply disturbing,” Hinson said. “A ‘scheduling conflict’ is no substitute for exposing allegations of sexual assault, and state senator Liz Mathis must immediately dismiss Mike Franken.”