Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) on Friday called sexual harassment allegations revealed against him a Democratic-led political attack, and said he was “shocked” to hear about them.
“The release of this unsubstantiated complaint is a political attack by a Democrat-led committee,” Allen said in a press release issued through his spokeswoman denying the allegations. “I’m sure I’ve shaken many people’s hands, tapped many people on the shoulder, and have even tapped people’s feet accidentally. But there has never been anything in any of my actions that has been inappropriate, and nor will there ever be.”
Recently-released documents read that in 2013 two women reportedly complained that Allen made them feel uncomfortable by asking for a hug, squeezing the shoulders of one of the women, and “petting” another’s hand. According to the documents, Assembly human resources officials spoke with Allen about the alleged incidents and no further action was taken.
As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Delaine Eastin, the former state schools superintendent, called on Allen to drop out of the race, tweeting, “I say #TimesUp for ALL sexual harassers seeking to subjugate half the population. Travis Allen is now a known predator and should drop out. If he remains invited to joint events, I will be there to represent all women who have been harasssed [sic], passed over and disrespected.”
I say #TimesUp for ALL sexual harassers seeking to subjugate half the population. Travis Allen is now a known predator and should drop out. If he remains invited to joint events, I will be there to represent all women who have been harasssed, passed over and disrespected. https://t.co/vHNbHSMgMV
— Delaine Eastin (@DelaineEastin) February 2, 2018
Allen is the sole Republican named in the documents. He is also the Republican performing best in the Democrat-heavy gubernatorial race, which Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is leading. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and State Treasurer John Chiang, both Democrats, are also top contenders, although Villaraigosa is most likely to come in second place after Newsom. Republican Orange County businessman John Cox is also running.
Allen wed his wife Arielle in 2016. They celebrated the birth of a daughter in November.
KQED reported that Allen was named, along with three other California lawmakers.
The documents reportedly also name state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), who was accused of pulling an employee close to him and beginning to dance and sing to her, according to Bay Area public radio station KQED. In 2017 Assemblywoman, Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles) was reportedly accused of engaging in an inappropriate conversation about anal sex with her Capitol office staff. KQED further noted that the document also included a previous complaint filed against Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) — who is currently on leave from the State Senate — who was accused of flirting and giving unwelcome attention to one of his staff while he served in the State Assembly.
Former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), who resigned last year following multiple sexual harassment allegations from women, was also named in the document.