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Fellow Republican says Sorenson “needs to resign” from state senate

(Radio Iowa) – A state senator says a fellow Republican senator who’s the subject of an ethics investigation should resign.

Senator Kent Sorenson of Milo has been accused of violating ethics rules which forbid senators from being paid directly or indirectly for work on presidential campaigns. Sorenson has repeatedly denied the charges, saying he’s the victim of “a witch hunt.” Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale has been interviewed about accusations that Sorenson stole a contact list of Iowa homeschoolers for Michele Bachmann’s campaign.

“I know the answers to many of the allegations. I am a part of the police investigation in Urbandale as well as the (senate) ethics investigation,” Zaun said. “…I think it has been a big distraction for Republicans…He needs to resign.”

Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix issued a written statement Sunday, suggesting the Senate Ethics Committee investigation should be allowed to continue.

The Senate Ethics Committee has appointed a special investigator to examine all the allegations involving Senator Sorenson,” Dix said. “There is a process in place, and it is in place for a reason. Senate Republican leadership believes in the importance of allowing the process to work to maintain the integrity of the Iowa Senate.”

According to Zaun, the accusations surrounding Sorenson are “bad” for all senators.

“I know answers. I think that Senator Sorenson should resign,” Zaun said Sunday. “…Let’s let the investigation go forward, but I think it’s been a major distraction to the senate Republicans and I think he should resign.”

Zaun made his comments Sunday morning on “The Insiders” on WHO-TV. Long-time State Representative Clel Baudler watched the program and Baudler said Zaun showed “a lot of leadership” by saying Sorenson should resign.

“(Sorenson’s) a cancer within our party and you cut it out if you have a cancer in there,” Baudler said during a brief speech to a gathering of Adair County Republicans in Greenfield.

State Senator Jake Chapman of Adel, one of Sorenson’s GOP colleagues, also spoke to the crowd, but did not mention Sorenson.