Andrea Ramsey, a Leawood Democrat, announced she is dropping out of the race against Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder.
In a 2005 lawsuit, Ramsey was accused of sexually harassing male subordinate and retaliating after he refused her advances, the Kansas City Star reports. She explains her reasoning in a letter to the Kansas 3rd District, published in the Kansas City daily. She revealed the allegations, which she says are false from a vindictive former employee, cost her candidacy the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard,” she said. “…We are in a national moment where rough justice stands in place of careful analysis, nuance and due process.”
The 2005 lawsuit was against LabOne, where Ramsey then worked as the executive vice president of human resources. The case was settled after mediation in 2006, and Ramsey told the Star she would have sued for defamation to exonerate herself had she been named as a party to the suit.
“I never would’ve settled,” she told the Star.
In her letter to the 3rd District, she said terminating individuals is a wrenching decision.
“Sometimes employees don’t take the decision well, and do things they wouldn’t otherwise do because they are angry in that moment, seeking to retaliate,” she wrote.
Details of the lawsuit surfaced as part of a whisper campaign to upend her candidacy, according to Ramsey. She believes the DCCC’s decision not to support her campaign will limit the party’s chances to flip the 3rd District House seat. She says she had the clearest path to defeating Yoder.
“I have been the consistent front-runner, raising more money than all of my other Democratic opponents combined,” she wrote.
Ramsey is one of six Democratic candidates vying to replace Yoder in the U.S. Congress. She had the endorsement of Emily’s List, a national organization that supports liberal women. At the end of the third quarter of 2017, Ramsey had raised more money for her campaign than the other Democratic challengers. She had $374,000 in cash on hand. Yoder reported more than $1.4 million.