Democratic State Rep. Paul Rosenthal, who faced accusations of male-on-male sexual harassment, could not muster the 30% needed at the HD-9 assembly yesterday morning, and will not appear on the primary ballot for his seat in the June 26th election. Rosenthal was running for his fourth term in the legislature.
Rosenthal was one of the first Colorado lawmakers hit with sexual harassment allegations after the Harvey Weinstein #MeToo accusations. Rosenthal escaped any official punishment or reprimand because the incidents happened before he was sworn in as a member of the legislature.
The damage was done however, as multiple allegations against the lawmaker attracted rare primary challenges against an entrenched incumbent. Emily Sirota, a social worker and wife of Denver writer, radios personality, and political operative David Sirota. Sirota made the recent scandals of sexual harassment and misconduct cornerstones of her campaign to oust Rosenthal. Readers may remember David Sirota as the original purveyor of #fakenews with his claims that Chris Christie was under investigation as well as his attack on a journalist who was trying to get comment from Emily Sirota. We suspect David is being sent on an all expenses paid vacation for the remainder of the primary.
Ashley Wheeland, another Democrat activist, made the primary ballot as well. Wheeland collected endorsements form establishment Democrat leaders such as former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, recalled former Senate President John Morse, state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, state Sen. Irene Aguilar, and former U.S. Congresswoman Betsy Markey. Wheeland’s campaign focused on all the social issues, as one would expect from a Democrat. Yawn.