US: Gay Republican Carl DeMaio loses election after sexual harassment claims

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Gay Republican candidate Carl DeMaio has lost his bid for congress by a tiny margin, after being accused of sexually harassing male staffers.

Mr DeMaio, who was challenging incumbent Democrat  Scott Peters in California’s 52nd District, had been tipped to become the first openly gay Republican in the House of Representatives.

However his campaign was plagued by scandal, Mr DeMaio was accused of acting inappropriately towards 28-year-old former staffer Todd Bosnich.

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.

A 25-year-old Navy veteran, Justin Harper, also came forward this week to allege that Mr DeMaio had approached him in the toilets.

Mr DeMaio denies all wrongdoing in both cases – but pundits had warned that it could hurt his chances in the narrow race.

The too-close-to-call counting between Peters and DeMaio dragged on for a full 72 hours after the polls closed, with a handful of votes separating the two at several points.

However, AP finally projected race was finally projected for Peters last night, with him leading DeMaio by just 4,491 votes – 51.2 percent (92,410 votes) to 48.8 percent (87,919 votes).