Colorado Sen. Randy Baumgardner stepping down after beating expulsion vote |

Colorado Sen. Randy Baumgardner stepping down after beating expulsion vote

Republican was accused of slapping and grabbing a legislative aide

Sen. Randy Baumgardner sits at his desk before a vote at the Colorado State Capitol on Thursday, April 26, 2018.
AAron Ontiveroz / The Denver Post

A rural state senator who beat an expulsion vote following sexual harassment allegations during the 2018 legislative session is leaving his seat in five weeks.

State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, a Republican who represents Hot Sulphur Springs and other northwestern Colorado communities, said in a letter to the Senate’s secretary that his time as a lawmaker had been “rewarding beyond belief.”

CBS4, which first broke the news, reported that Baumgardner made the decision so his family would not be subjected to the possibility of another vote.

Earlier this year an independent investigator found it “more likely than not” that Baumgardner grabbed and slapped the buttocks of a legislative aide for a Democratic senator four times in 2016. Baumgardner, who denied the charge, avoided expulsion on a near-party-line 17-17 vote.

His voluntary exit now comes as no surprise to close observers of the Capitol. Rumors that he would resign have circulated since Democrats won a Senate majority in November.

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