Nearly two weeks after the Indiana Daily Student broke a story detailing allegations of sexual harassment against Monroe County Commissioner Amanda Barge, the Monroe County Democratic Party has called for her to step down from office.
Former county contractor Brandon Drake alleged Barge sexually harassed him for more than a year and ultimately played a significant role in forcing him out of his job and professional community.
Barge has repeatedly denied these accusations.
The Monroe County Democratic Party asked that Barge immediately step down as Monroe County Commissioner, according to a Saturday night press release.
It also asked her to publicly say she will not accept the nomination for Bloomington mayor even if she receives more votes than incumbent John Hamilton.
Barge suspended her mayoral campaign less than a day after the initial story ran, but her name will still appear on the ballot, and she could still win the nomination. If that happened, she would have until July 15 to withdraw from the November municipal election.
“Commissioner Amanda Barge’s alleged actions are incompatible with public office and the Indiana Democratic Party’s platform,” the Monroe County Democratic Party’s statement read.
The party wrote that it will continue to defend vulnerable people by holding those in power accountable.
Black Lives Matter Bloomington has also called for Barge to step down as commissioner. Days after the initial story outlining the allegations broke, Barge told Indiana Public Media she would not resign from her seat.
The Monroe County Board of Commissioners has not called for Barge’s resignation, and Barge has not replied to multiple requests for comment from the IDS on whether she will resign.
In a Saturday night Facebook post, Drake thanked the Monroe County Democratic Party for calling for her resignation.
"This decision from the MCDP reassures me that what I've gone through is getting all of us one step closer to meaningful change,” he wrote.