Elected Officials Call for Congressman Nolan’s Resignation
7 DFL Duluth-Based Figures Come Forward in Agreement
DULUTH, Minn.- City Council President Noah Hobbs released a statement Tuesday afternoon regarding Congressman Rick Nolan’s engagement with the sexual assault harassment allegations placed on his former staffer Jim Swidurski.
Rather than being fired in 2015, Swidurski was allowed to leave Nolan’s office and was then hired to work again on Nolan’s 2016 campaign. Nolan later said in hindsight he should nout have hired Swidurski back.
Despite the pressure to leave her running mate, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lori Swanson is standing by Nolan, saying he has been an active member in standing for gender equality throughout his career.
Hobbs, alongside State Senator Erik Simonson, Duluth School Board Chair David Kirby, St. Louis County Commissioner Patrick Boyle, At Large Duluth School Board Member Josh Gorham, At Large Duluth City Councilor Zach Filipovich, and Duluth City Councilor Joel Sipress, came forward signing the statement calling for Nolan’s resignation.
The full statement reads:
“It’s important as elected officials to hold each other accountable for our actions. This is why we are asking for Rep. Nolan to resign his congressional seat. We believe that sexual harassment and misconduct is never acceptable, that dismissal should be immediate for men who participate in this behavior such as Rep. Nolan’s former legislative director, and that all people deserve respect in the workplace. We are disappointed by Congressman Nolan’s disregard for women who experienced sexual harassment in his workplace.
It’s equally important to us as men to stand up and hold each other accountable for this type of behavior. We respect the courage of women to share their stories and we are calling out Congressman Nolan’s blaming of victims for the harassment by a member of his leadership team. As fathers, brothers, husbands, partners, and grandparents we don’t accept this status quo. We are committed to change. And that change starts with the 8th District.”
Hobbs later told Fox 21 that he does not find Nolan to be an effective representation of the 8th congressional district and that is why he believes he should resign.
When asked why no women leaders have come forward with a comment at this time, Councilor Filipovich said,
“It is extremely important to call out men as the main perpetrators of these types of acts, from men to make sure that everyone knows that we can be allies when this type of situation arises.”
The only comment made by a female representative of the 8th congressional district was a tweet made by Mayor Emily Larson that reads:
“Defending & covering up creepy, inappropriate or harassing behavior doesn’t make you a friend. It makes you an accomplice.”
Nolan’s administration staff says that he does not have any further comments to make at this time other than what was already released last week stating:
“Women must be encouraged to speak their truth and must always be listened to with respect. I have Zero Tolerance for inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Sexual harassment is not condoned in my Congressional office or in my campaign committee.”
All of the politicians in this story calling for Nolan’s resignation are backing other candidates, with Councilor Filipovich saying he is neutral.