Senate candidate August Wolf accused of sexual harassment
August Wolf, a candidate primarying for the Connecticut Republican U.S. Senate nomination, was accused by a former staffer of making sexually explicit comments towards her that caused an uncomfortable and hostile work environment.
In April, before the state convention, the Weston Republican Town Committee (RTC) initially endorsed Wolf in his bid for the U.S. Senate before eventually endorsing State Rep. Dan Carter of Bethel. Carter was officially endorsed by the state Republican party but Wolf is trying to force a primary in August.
The eventual Republican candidate will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal in the November election.
Samantha Menh, who acted as a political consultant for Wolf for two months, filed a 12-page suit against Wolf in Stamford Superior Court on Wednesday, June 1. She alleges that Wolf made sexual comments that were “severe and pervasive.” (Link to lawsuit)
Upon her hire in March, Menh alleges that Wolf, a Stamford businessman and former Olympic athlete, engaged in sexually abusive and improper behavior towards her.
In the suit, Menh alleges that Wolf called her “babe” repeatedly, asked her if “she had ever been sexually satisfied by a real man,” and made inquiries regarding her sexual practices.
The suit names both Wolf and his campaign manager Baylor Myers as defendants. Menh is seeking $160,000 in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages.
Menh is claiming breach of contract and wrongful termination in the suit.
Menh also accused Wolf of election law violations, saying he illegally coordinated activities with an unidentified Super PAC and failed to account for campaign contributions properly.
This isn’t the first time that Wolf has been accused of inappropriate behavior by former members of his campaign team.
In February, former staffers referred to Wolf as a “grown-up frat boy” to the Connecticut Mirror.
They told the Mirror that Wolf’s campaign was “toxic” due to his “negative” gossiping about the romantic lives of those who worked on his campaign, including insensitivity and hostility towards gay staffers.
Troy Meeker, Wolf’s former communications director and a gay man wrote a letter to Wolf that said, "I do not believe you have ever intended to be hateful or homophobic, however unfortunately your intentions are irrelevant to how it is perceived."
Meeker’s letter continued, “In this case, your behavior and this situation have been perceived as a personal attack on me because of my sexual orientation."
In Menh’s lawsuit, she alleges that Wolf was obsessed with proving he wasn’t gay, and would often subject Meeker to “unwanted comments, speculations and questions about his sexuality,” and the “abusive homophobic talk was one of the reasons that Meeker quit the campaign.”
Seeking a primary
Wolf lost the Republican endorsement at the state Republican convention on Monday, May 9, to Carter, who entered the race only a month before the convention.
Wolf, who has been campaigning since June 2015, needed 15% of the convention vote for an automatic primary but didn’t reach that number.
At the convention, Wolf collected around 11% of the vote. He carried 123 of the 1,050 available delegates, while Carter carried 907 and a third candidate Jack Orchulli received 20 delegates.
As of the Forum’s press time, Wolf is collecting signatures to force a primary on Aug. 9 against Carter.
Wolf’s deadline to collect signatures to force a primary was Tuesday, June 7, and an official count is expected to come from the Secretary of State in the coming weeks.
The Weston RTC initially endorsed Wolf in his bid for U.S. Senate in April.
However, at the May 9 Republican convention, Weston RTC chairman Bob Ferguson said the group decided to endorse Carter after it “was clear [Carter] was going to be the nominee.”
All of Weston’s five delegates went for Carter at the convention.
Since the RTC no longer endorses Wolf, Ferguson said he has no comment on the allegations against him.
The RTC’s initial endorsement of Wolf ran in the Forum’s April 28 issue and included a statement from Ferguson saying the RTC was proud to endorse Wolf for the U.S. Senate race, and that Wolf was “the right man at the right time” to replace Blumenthal.
Fairfield’s Republican Town Committee also endorsed Wolf ahead of the convention.
Edited to add link to lawsuit.