Top California Democrat resigns after sexual misconduct complaints
On Thursday, Eric Bauman, chair of the California Democratic Party, announced he would resign following reports of sexual misconduct and harassment against him published in the Los Angeles Times earlier this week.
“I have made the realization that in order for those to whom I may have caused pain and who need to heal, for my own health, and in the best interest of the party that I love and to which I have dedicated myself for more than 25 years, it is in everyone’s best interest for me to resign my position as chair of the California Democratic Party,” Bauman said, according to the Times.
After the reports emerged, top California politicians including Governor-elect Gavin Newsom called on Bauman to resign.
“Sexual harassment shouldn’t be tolerated—no person or party, no matter how powerful, is above accountability,” Newsom’s spokesman, Nathan Click, told the Times.
Bauman was accused by 10 staffers and activists of making sexually explicit comments and touching people inappropriately during his time as a party official.
Bauman ran the Los Angeles Democratic Party for 17 years before he was elected as California chair last year. As a gay man, he was a strong Democratic voice on LGBTQ rights. He previously said he would take a leave of absence from his position, before announcing his resignation.
Bauman said before announcing his resignation that he would “seek medical intervention to address serious, ongoing health issues and to begin treatment for what I now realize is an issue with alcohol.”
“Our party is not perfect, and we can and must do better going forward to ensure we can provide support and accountability for all survivors,” State Democratic Party Secretary Jenny Bach said in a statement.