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Harwell Race Heats Up

Posted at 4:49 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 23:04:00-04

House Speaker Beth Harwell's Democratic challenge, Chris Moth, slammed the long-time Republican for not releasing statistics related to sexual harassment complaints at the Capitol. 

Moth, who referenced a local media outlet's report this week that every state agency but the legislature reported sexual harassment numbers, called on Harwell to be more transparent. 

"I think once again Beth Harwell is sweeping sexual harassment under the rug instead of serving the people of Tennessee she is serving her political and partisan interests," Moth told a small group of reporters outside the Green Hills library.

The Democratic challenger also referenced the ousting of former state Representative Jeremy Durham, who was expelled from his House seat in September following allegations he sexually harassment a number of female workers.

"Beth Harwell has claimed that Jeremy Durham is a one off, that this is not the culture of our legislature so why isn’t she releasing this information so we can all join her in that conclusion," Moth added.

Speaker Harwell's campaign responded in a statement:

"It’s unfortunate they are playing politics with this sensitive issue. The Speaker’s priority has always been ensuring victims feel comfortable reporting instances of sexual harassment. Under the new workplace harassment policy, if a violation is found a report is written and placed in the violator's personnel file. For the first time in history, that report is subject to public inspection."