Senator Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas, resigns from his position amid allegations of sexual harassment

News outlets are reporting that Washington state Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas, has resigned after an accusation of sexual harassment.

“As you may have read, an employee of mine from ten years ago, Ann Larson, reported that she felt mistreated by me,” Ranker said in a press release on Jan. 13. “I am deeply sorry for any stress I caused her and I sincerely apologize. I wish her peace.”

According to the Seattle Times, “Sen. Kevin Ranker … sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee’s office late Friday saying he was resigning ‘with a heavy heart.’ He wrote that his resignation was effective immediately.”

In late December, an Associated Press journalist reported that Washington state Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, is being investigated by the state for improper conduct.

Current state employee Larson made allegations of sexual harassment. According to the article published in The Seattle Times, Larson met Ranker while she was a clerk for the San Juan County Council and he was a councilman.

Larson said she had a consensual sexual relationship with Ranker, according to the report, but once she started to work in his Senate district office in 2009, she wanted only a professional one. After she rejected his advances, she said Ranker became hostile and she eventually left the position, according to the story.

According to the Seattle P-I, “a special meeting of the 40th Legislative District Democrats is called to nominate three names for consideration by the county legislative authorities within the 40th District. At another meeting, those authorities will choose the person to fill out the term. If there’s no agreement within 60 days, Gov. Jay Inslee will appoint a person from the list within 30 days.”

Ranker wrote in a press release that he was thankful for his supporters and proud of the strides they had made during his 10 years as a senator.

“Representing each of you in the Washington State Senate has been one of the single greatest honors of my life,” he wrote. “Each of you, my constituents, friends, and neighbors have graciously trusted me in this work to represent your core values. … You have empowered and inspired me, and I am forever thankful.”