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SFV Assemblyman Bocanerga won't seek re-election amid sexual harassment allegations

SFV Assemblyman Bocanerga won't seek re-election amid sexual harassment allegations

Martinez and Bocanegra are a part of a tight-knit political alliance of Democrats from the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

Democratic Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, the focus of mounting sexual harassment allegations, said Monday he won't seek re-election next year but some party leaders are pressuring him to immediately step down.

"I am also suspending my campaign and will not run for re-election", he wrote in a message Monday on his Facebook page.

The newspaper last month reported that the state lawmaker had been penalized following a 2009 investigation over a woman's claims that Bocanegra touched her inappropriately.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, a Bell Gardens Democrat and co-chair of the Legislative Women's Caucus, tweeted that Bocanegra should step down immediately. Al Franken of either fondling her while she was asleep or putting his hand on her behind while the two took a photo.Franken apologized for the first allegation, but said he did not remember the photo incident. "Leave now", Garcia wrote.

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Martinez had said she confronted Bocanegra after learning last month that he had been disciplined after a groping allegation when he was a legislative staffer in 2009.

Reports of the incident have "since fueled persistent rumors and speculation, and I do not believe that this is in the best interest of my constituents to continue to serve next term", he continued.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who previous year appointed Bocanegra majority whip where he's tasked with rounding up votes for the Democratic leadership, did not call on Bocanegra to resign. He was an Assembly chief of staff at the time and was later elected to the Legislature in 2012. Her husband, Gerardo Guzman, works as Bocanegra's district director.

The newspaper said it reached out to the office of Bocanegra on Friday regarding a story it had been reporting that included six women alleging they had been harassed by the state lawmaker.


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