Republican advisor: Gay candidate Carl DeMaio could lose election over sexual harassment claims

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A former Republican advisor has warned that sexual harassment claims could cost gay candidate Carl DeMaio a victory.

Mr DeMaio, who is running in California to become the first out Republican congressman next month, has been accused of acting inappropriately towards Todd Bosnich, 28.

Mr Bosnich, who worked for DeMaio’s campaign last year, alleges that the candidate had masturbated in front of him, groped him, and kissed his neck.

The former staffer alleged of one incident when he was called to DeMaio’s office: “I came over to his office, the door was open. And he was masturbating. I saw his hand, his penis in his hand and he had a smile on his face. And as soon as I came over he was looking at me.”

Mr DeMaio has denied all the allegations, but former George W Bush adviser Brad Blakeman warns the incident could cost him the election, in his neck-and-neck battle with Democrat Scott Peters, whom he had a three-point lead over before the news broke.

Brad Blakeman told Fox: “This is going to hurt him. Whether it’s fatally or not remains to be seen.

“This certainly has not helped his effort and any slim margin that he had before this scandal has eroded, I’m sure, in the next poll.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee continues to back DeMaio despite the allegations, with spokesperson Andrea Bozek saying: “We fully support Carl DeMaio and we don’t make decisions based on unsubstantiated claims.”