Politics

Rep. Kihuen Preps Vegas City Council Run After Sexual Harassment Case Ends Congressional Career

Nevada Democrat’s congressional career cut short after sexual harassment controversy

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., left, is preparing a Las Vegas city council run, according to documents he filed with the IRS this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who will leave Congress after just one term, is taking steps to run for Las Vegas city council, according to files submitted to the IRS.

A House Ethics subcommittee reported in November that Kihuen, a Nevada Democrat, had sexually harassed women who worked with him.

Kihuen filed with the IRS to form a 527 political organization that can raise unlimited funds from groups and individual donors. The stated purpose of his 527 group, which is exempt from taxes, is for a “municipal election campaign.”

Kihuen, once a Harry Reid prodigy, has been rumored since the spring to be mounting a run for retiring Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin’s seat.

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Kihuen has not officially announced a run for the seat. His office could not immediately be reached for comment on the 527 organization filing.

Kihuen’s bright future in Congress quickly dimmed just halfway into his first term in office after reports surfaced that he had repeatedly harassed women who worked for his campaign.

A House Ethics Committee report released last month found that Kihuen harassed women who worked with him and violated the House’s official code of conduct.

“Kihuen made persistent and unwanted advances towards women who were required to interact with him as part of their professional responsibilities,” the report said. The advances included kissing, grabbing and comments about underwear.

The release came after a nine-month inquiry by an investigative subcommittee impaneled Dec. 2017.

Kihuen apologized for his past actions around the time of the initial media reports and announced he would not run for re-election.

“After much reflection and introspection, I recognize that regardless of the fact that I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable or disrespected, what matters is how my actions were perceived by the women who came forward,” he said. “It saddens me greatly to think I made any woman feel that way due to my own immaturity and overconfidence. I extend my sincere apologies to each of these women.”

Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report

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