Baumgardner survives Democratic effort to expel him after sexual harassment complaint
Colorado state Sen. Randy Baumgardner survived a Democratic push Monday to expel him from office for sexual harassment, with one of his Republican colleagues calling it “a public lynching.”
The Senate voted 17-17 in a near party-line vote against a resolution to expel the Republican from northwestern Colorado after three hours of debate, in which Democrats suggested the inaction sent a devastating message to victims.
“People are watching. And if we continue to do nothing, if we continue down the path of inaction, it just further engrains that this is normal behavior — that it’s the cost of doing business,” said Sen. Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder.
Sen. Ray Scott, a Grand Junction lawmaker in a tough re-election fight, is the only Republican who supported Baumgardner’s expulsion, and the resolution fell well short of the 24 votes needed in a rare evening session with most Republicans saying the evidence didn’t adequately support the allegations.
“Frankly, what we are engaging in is somewhat of a public lynching,” said Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose, who described the hurtful effects the allegations have had on Baumgardner’s family. “I’ve never supported that. I hope you haven’t either.”
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