The California Democratic Party refused to endorse Sen. Dianne Feinstein last weekend at its state convention but did throw its endorsement behind a state legislator under investigation for sexual harassment.
The party voted Sunday to endorse a slate of federal and state candidates that included Democratic Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, who placed herself on unpaid leave while allegations of sexual misconduct are being investigated.
She was accused last month by a former legislative aide in another office of groping him in 2014 at a staff softball game, after which four former staffers said she engaged in inappropriate discussions of sexual conduct and drinking during office hours.
Another ex-employee reportedly said she fired him after he refused to play “spin the bottle.”
Ms. Garcia, who has denied the allegations, was a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement, appearing in Time magazine “Persons of the Year” issue as one of the “silence breakers” and authoring legislation to combat sexual harassment.
“Every complaint about sexual harassment should be taken seriously and I will participate fully in any investigation that takes place,” Ms. Garcia said in a statement earlier this month on KCRA in Sacramento. “I have zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behavior and such behavior is inconsistent with my values.”
No candidate for governor or Senate was able to muster the 60 percent delegate vote needed to capture the party’s official endorsement, not even Ms. Feinstein, who has served in the Senate since 1992.
Ms. Feinstein actually placed behind California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, capturing 37 percent of the vote to his 54 percent, although a Public Policy Institute of California poll released Feb. 7 showed her leading him 46 to 17 percent.
A spokesman for the California Democratic Party did not immediately return a request for comment.