Iowa Senate majority leader steps down after video shows him kissing lobbyist


The woman was not identified by Starting Line aside from stating she was 'a lobbyist for various municipality groups'.

The website says the incident was recorded March 1. "I think he needs to make the decision to at least step down from leadership", said Johnson.

The incident led to Senator Dix coming under scrutiny for his role in firing Anderson hours after she reported a toxic work environment, with the lawmaker continuing to insist firing the staffer exclusively for job performance reasons.

He consulted briefly Monday with his fellow GOP Senators, then released a letter announcing his resignation without comment.

Iowa Senate President Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) told the newspaper that he was unaware of any relationship between Dix and the lobbyist, and he declined to comment on the video.

" ... I believe he made the decision in the best interest of his family", Whitver said in a statement. Dix, a Republican from Shell Rock, is married with three children.

Dix's resignation was supported by the state's governor Kim Reynolds.

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Senate Democrats had earlier released a statement calling it a "serious matter" and accused Dix of failing to take responsibility after a former Senate staffer filed a lawsuit claiming sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Petersen used her statement to reiterate her criticism of Dix for how he handled a recent sexual misconduct case within the chamber, which involved former Senate GOP staffer, Kirsten Anderson. Also, Senate Republican Caucus staffers shared that "there is an environment on the Senate Floor with Senators making sexually suggestive comments or about sexual preferences" with one alleged instance happening during the 2017 session.

"I look forward to working with new leadership in the Senate on behalf of Iowans". Dix ahead of his resignation.

Iowa Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen, left, talks with Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix.

Reynolds said she hoped the majority party leaders could "move on" with the 2018 session in pushing plans to cut taxes, balance the budget and address other priorities would not be impacted by Monday's development.

"Iowans hold their elected officials to a high standard", Reynolds said.

"We have in essence legalized discrimination, which I believe is a very unsafe and unfortunate thing to be doing", he remarked, with State Senator Herman Quirmbach agreeing that while student organizations have the right to be formed around a set of beliefs, they do not have the right to "discriminate on the basis of status".