DENVER — Friday’s vote to expel Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, from the Colorado House of Representatives over explicit sexual harassment allegations garnered reactions from both sides of the aisle.
The vote was 52-9 in the 65-member chamber. There were four who excused themselves. Those voting "no" were Reps. Buck, Everett, Humphrey, Lewis, Neville, Ransom, Reyher, Saine and Sandridge – all Republicans.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said Friday’s vote was painful, but necessary:
“Today’s vote by Colorado’s House of Representatives was important and necessary to address well-documented instances of sexual harassment in the workplace. This has been a painful chapter and it is our sincere hope that we all learn from the bravery of the women who came forward,” Hickenlooper wrote.
Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll shared a similar reaction, offering the following statement:
Today's vote sends a clear message that there will be serious consequences for sexual harassment in the workplace.
We would not be here as a state without the courage shown by Rep. Faith Winter and others who have bravely come forward to tell their story. And we wouldn't be here as a nation without the courage of countless people - mostly women - across this country who are standing up and saying enough is enough.
The #MeToo movement is about empowering those who have been victimized to come forward, tell their stories, and demand accountability for the perpetrators. Unfortunately, those who come forward often face retaliation for breaking their silence. But today's result demonstrates that if enough people commit to doing the right thing, we can achieve justice for victims of sexual harassment.
Now it's time for Senator Grantham to follow suit, and formally begin proceedings to remove sexual harassers from the Senate.
Sexual misconduct should not be a partisan issue. It is a problem that must be addressed in every industry and every walk of life. The Democratic Party remains committed to eliminating sexual misconduct wherever it exists, whether in government, in campaigns, or any other industry or institution.