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Democratic candidate for governor Nate Boulton, a state senator from Des Moines, talks with people at a campaign stop in Bettendorf on Saturday.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Former Iowa governor candidate Nate Boulton says he will not resign his Iowa Senate seat over old allegations of sexual misconduct.

Boulton, a Democrat from Des Moines, released a statement Monday saying he intends to serve out his four-year term that expires in 2020.

For a year, Boulton was one of the leading candidates for governor and a favorite of labor unions. But he dropped out days before the June 5 primary after The Des Moines Register reported that three women alleged he touched them inappropriately several years ago.

Boulton's intent to stay in the Senate may spark a formal investigation by his colleagues into the allegations. He has apologized for his behavior but says he remembers the incidents differently.

Still, Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen has called for his resignation.

— Associated Press

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