An Iowa Democratic Senate candidate’s former campaign manager accused her boss of sexual assault, according to police files recently obtained by the Iowa Field Report.
Mike Franken in March apparently grabbed and forcibly kissed Kim Strope-Boggus without her consent, a police incident report in April shows. The assailant’s name is blacked out in the report, but the name of another Franken campaign manager and the candidate’s past electoral history are mentioned. Strope-Boggus said the candidate has had "1950s interactions" with "several other women."
The allegations could imperil Franken as the former Navy admiral has made "civility" a cornerstone of his campaign. His platform also pledges to "end sexual discrimination, as well as workplace sexual harassment." Franken is also married with two children. The assault apparently occurred during a night of drinking in Des Moines.
A spokesman for Franken’s campaign did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Strope-Boggus was fired in February by Franken campaign manager Maddy Leahy. In since-deleted tweets, Strope-Boggus’s wife Becky corroborated her termination from the campaign. The police report reveals Franken’s legal team also pressured Strope-Boggus to remove her own tweets about the firing, saying it violated a "nondisclosure that she signed."
Police closed the case after coordinating with the county attorney, who determined no criminal action had occurred. Another campaign manager, Julie Stauch, resigned in July but resumed her role a week later.
Democratic congressional candidates Christina Bohannan and Liz Mathis were absent from a scheduled town hall with Franken on Monday. Franken's campaign denied the assault allegations to reporters there and said his fellow Democrats had scheduling conflicts.
Franken received $1.7 million during his last fundraising period and is featured on the Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue, which has removed candidates in the past for credible accusations of sexual harassment. In 2021, ActBlue booted disgraced New York governor Andrew Cuomo from its site after 11 women accused him of sexual misconduct.
ActBlue did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Franken will face incumbent Republican senator Chuck Grassley in November. A July Des Moines Register poll had Grassley up 8 points.