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Iowa gubernatorial candidate accused of misconduct drops out

Des Moines state Sen. Nate Boulton announced Thursday that he's leaving the race. (KTVO file)

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 state Sen. Nate Boulton announced Thursday that he's leaving the race. The allegations appeared in The Des Moines Register on Wednesday.

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

One woman alleges Boulton 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 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's departure comes less than two weeks before the June 5 Democratic primary for governor.

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