Democratic Senate candidate Mike Franken of Iowa, running against Senator Chuck Grassley, has been accused of sexual assault by his former campaign manager. Now, eyes are on one of Franken’s closest allies, Mark Kelly (D-AZ), who has given Franken his total support. The recent allegations could prompt Kelly to pull all of his support out of the Iowa race and call for Franken to drop out, which could be beneficial for Republicans hoping to take control of the Senate.
BREITBART: Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly Funds Campaign of Iowa’s Mike Franken, Now Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Jacob Bliss; September 20, 2022
On Monday, Mike Franken — who is 64 years old, married, and has two kids — was accused by his former campaign manager, Kimberley Strope-Boggus, in an unearthed police report, of “grabb[ing] the collar of the vest she was wearing and kissed her on her mouth” before she could “pull away” when they met for drinks at a bar in March.
Strope-Boggus described Franken as “old school” and having “1950s interactions with women,” which was “something that he has done to several other women.”
After his first campaign event on Monday, following the bombshell report, he dismissed the former campaign manager’s allegations as “baseless,” saying it “didn’t happen.” Still, when asked if the two met, he stated they “had a glass of beer.”
However, after one of Kelly’s top allies in the Arizona state legislature was charged with seven child sex crimes last year, the senator eventually called for his resignation.
“The charges against Senator Navarrete are serious and disturbing,” Kelly tweeted at the time. “The justice system must uncover all of the facts and enforce the law. It has been days now since these charges came to light, and Senator Navarrete should resign immediately.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported:
Maricopa County police arrested Democratic state senator Tony Navarrete on Thursday, charging the Phoenix lawmaker with seven felonies stemming from alleged child molestation. Navarrete backed Kelly’s Senate campaign just one month after its launch in February 2019, earning the Democrat a spot on Kelly’s “early endorsement list.” Kelly called on Navarrete to resign via Twitter after an inquiry from the Washington Free Beacon.
The arrest could see Navarrete jailed for at least 49 years under Arizona’s mandatory minimum sentencing law. It could also spell political trouble for Kelly, who is up for reelection in 2022. GOP challenger Blake Masters highlighted the incident in a Friday tweet, accusing Democrats of “turning a blind eye to the worst actors in their midst.”
Kelly campaigned with Navarrete after touting his endorsement. In a now-deleted Facebook post, Navarrete congratulated Kelly on his November victory by sharing a post of the pair together during a 2020 Kelly campaign event.
At this time, it is unclear if Kelly will demand that Franken drop out of the senatorial race, given the accusations. It is also unclear if Kelly will ask the Hawkeye State Democrat to return the donations from the senator’s leadership PAC.
Kelly’s campaign did not respond to Breitbart News’s request for comment.