DES MOINES, Iowa –Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix resigned effective at 2p.m. Monday, following the release of a video from the progressive political website Iowa Starting Line that appears to show Dix, who is married, and a Statehouse lobbyist kissing in a Des Moines bar.
Dix sent out a brief statement confirming his departure.
Iowa Senate President Jack Whitver, an Ankeny Republican, sent out a statement about Dix’s departure.
“Effective at 2pm today Bill Dix resigned his position as Majority Leader and State Senator. I believe he made the right decision for himself and for his district, but most importantly, I believe he made the decision in the best interest of his family. Senate Republicans will continue to move the policies Iowans elected us to pursue. After discussions with the Republican Caucus this afternoon, an election to fill the position of Iowa Senate Majority Leader will be held on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.”“
Late Monday morning, before Dix’s announcement, Governor Kim Reynolds, addressed the video.
“First of all, with what little I know,” Reynolds said, “I’m certainly disappointed with what I’m hearing.”
But she added, “I don’t know all of the facts.” She said she hoped her conversation with Dix later in the day would provide her with those facts.
When Channel 13 asked if Dix should resign, given that the lobbyist could represent professional interests that come before Dix in the senate, Reynolds responded, “I think Iowans hold their elected officials to a high standard. They expect us to lead. I expect to lead. I want to know the facts.”
Iowa Starting Line reports the video was provided by people who witnessed Dix’s interactions with the lobbyist at the Waveland Tap on March 1st. The people told the website they recognized Dix from media coverage of state politics, including a sexual harassment trial involving Senate Republicans – in which a jury awarded former communication director Kirsten Anderson $2.2 million for workplace harassment and retaliation. Anderson was fired after filing a formal complaint over vulgar conversation and jokes that took place within the Senate caucus.
She later settled with the state for $1.7 million.
According to Iowa Starting Line, the woman seen kissing and flirting with Dix works as a lobbyist of municipality groups at the Statehouse and has done so for the past two years.