Iowa Senate leader Bill Dix resigns after video shows him kissing lobbyist


The Shell Rock Republican stepped down after the political news site Iowa Starting Line published photos and a video of Dix kissing a female lobbyist in a Des Moines bar.

Dix was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010 before becoming a majority leader where he led the Senate Republican Caucus since 2013 before grabbing further power after GOP lawmakers took control of the chamber following the 2016 election.

A self-described "family values" conservative has resigned from the Iowa state legislature after he was caught on video kissing a lobbyist who is not his wife. The website said the incident was recorded March 1. In her weekly press conference Monday, Reynolds says she was aware of the reports, but wanted to find out the facts before making a formal statement.

The 52-second video shows Dix, 55, and the unidentified lobbyist drinking and laughing at the bar before Dix leans in for a kiss.

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Iowa Senate President Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) told the newspaper that he was unaware of any relationship between Dix and the lobbyist, and he declined to comment on the video.

Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat, released a statement calling the video a "serious matter". "I'm extremely disappointed in what I'm hearing but until I have an opportunity to hear the story I'm not going to comment yet". The ex-employee filed a lawsuit several years ago claiming she was sacked after reporting misconduct in the workplace that included the use of sexual language. "We don't need this ongoing story about where Senate Republican leadership is on these issues dealing with women". He called for Dix to resign as majority leader.

Past year she was awarded a $2.1 million settlement for wrongful dismissal.

Dix has maintained the ex-staffer was sacked for poor performance.

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Petersen also criticized Dix for how he handled a sexual misconduct case involving a former Senate GOP staffer.

The GOP majority recently hired a human resources manager to address sexual harassment complaints.

Dix has been under pressure in the past year for his role in the sacking of Kristen Anderson, a communications director who complained about lewd behaviour in the Republican Senate caucus office.

"This footage would suggest to me that the sexual harassment training was not effective, at least not for Mr. Dix", Katie Ervin Carlson, a local attorney, told Iowa Starting Line.

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Republicans in the GOP-controlled chamber plan to elect a new majority leader on Wednesday.