By Megan Lehman
The state of Iowa was turned upside down with the news of gubernatorial candidate, Nate Boulton ending his campaign. With the primaries on the horizon, the news of Boulton’s exit from the race sent shockwaves through the voters.
Boulton is a lawyer and was first elected in 2016 to the Iowa Senate to replace retiring Senator Dick Dearden of the 16thdistrict. Before finding his way in to the Capitol building, however, Boulton was a well-known attorney. And just as Boulton became a successful attorney, he quickly conquered and set his sight on his next goal: the Iowa Senate.
In November of 2017, Boulton and fellow gubernatorial hopeful, Fred Hubbell, were identified as frontrunners by democratic activists and operatives and, with this news in mind, Boulton stepped up his game. Boulton launched a six figure TV ad buy, effectively bringing his campaign into its next phase. Shortly after, the Des Moines Register reported Boulton trailing behind Hubbell in predictions for the primary. And just a few short days later, on May 23, The Register reported allegations of three women who claim the Senator touched them inappropriately and without their consent.
When asked about the incident, Boulton offered up somewhat of a lack luster apology and stated that he remembered the incident differently, saying in a press release that he had misread a situation and that his actions were perceived as inappropriate. What is telling about his statement is the using of the word “if.” The apology itself implies that Boulton is apologetic for what is happening now, but the “if” could be interpreted as the Senators doubtfulness about what truly happened those nights at the bar back in 2015.
As a woman, I’d hope that if I found myself in a situation like this, in a bar with a man who clearly felt he had more power over my body than I did, I’d hope I’d be able to put an end to it. Having never been in this situation, however, I find it hard to have any opinion on what these women did then and are doing now. No matter what is said about it, these actions being taken now could be changing the course of history and saving other women down the line from experiencing sexual harassment from a man like Senator Boutlon. To those who wish to make a difference in this world are rightfully held to a higher standard. His resignation signals women of the world are done with accepting and walking away from this type of inappropriate behavior.
Despite his actions in that bar in 2015, it does not take away entirely from the good work the Senator Boulton completed during his time in the Iowa Senate. We all hope that we will not be continuously judged and labeled by our mistakes, and are given the opportunity to seek forgiveness. While we do not have to permanently label Senator Boulton as a predator, we also don’t have to label him as Governor either.
Boulton ended one of his campaign’s ads by saying he will not stop until we have a better Iowa for everyone. While this journalist recognizes that everyone takes regrettable actions, those actions taken by Senator Boulton affected women who are part of this Iowa. The Iowa he so proudly claim to fight for and defend.