MINOT, N.D. — Even as supporters rally around embattled lawmaker Luke Simons, minimizing or dismissing accusations of harassing and inappropriate conduct, at least some of which he’s admitted to, one of his Republican colleagues is adding to the pile of evidence against him.
Rep. Emily O’Brien was first elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives during the 2016 cycle.
In 2017 she began her first legislative session and tells me that even as she was learning the ropes of her chamber, she suffered a campaign of harassment from Simons, a Dickinson Republican who is also an outspoken member of the Bastiat Caucus.
Simons was also first elected in 2016.
O’Brien spoke to me as Simons faces a growing number of accusations of harassment and inappropriate behavior, including a profane verbal altercation with two female lawmakers in the capitol cafeteria this week, and a series of incidents involving women documented by the legislature’s staff going back years.