DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A popular Democratic candidate in Iowa’s crowded race for governor is suspending his campaign, after a newspaper reported three women had accused him of sexual misconduct.

Des Moines[1] state Sen. Nate Boulton[2] announced Thursday that he’s leaving the race. The allegations appeared in The Des Moines Register[3] on Wednesday.

The women have said Boulton[4] touched them inappropriately during separate incidents.

One woman alleges Boulton[5] repeatedly grabbed her buttocks at a bar in 2015. Two other women said he rubbed his clothed crotch against them more than a decade ago.

Boulton[6] hasn’t denied the accusations but argues the alleged incidents didn’t equate more serious instances of misconduct. He apologized to the women in a statement.

Boulton[7]’s departure comes less than two weeks before the June 5 Democratic primary for governor.

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