Rep. Diego Hernandez, 29, a rising star in Oregon's Democratic Party, took to Facebook on Saturday to deny rumors swirling at the state Capitol that he had ranked female lobbyists based on attractiveness.
On his Facebook page, Hernandez called for a fact-finding inquiry into an "ugly, relentless campaign of rumors."
"I categorically and emphatically state that I have never engaged in any ranking of lobbyists based on physical attributes," he wrote. "In my entire time as a legislator, I have never talked to or about a female lobbyist, legislator, legislative staff, or other individual in a way that could be characterized as demeaning, disrespectful, or inappropriate. …I have dedicated my life to social justice and dismantling patriarchy and sexism."
Hernandez's proactive denial was first reported this afternoon by The Oregonian, which also reported that conducted by the Legislature's lawyers and human resources officials.
Hernandez declined to comment further to WW.
House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson tells WW in a statement that she recently told Hernandez about the rumors he was ranking lobbyists.
"Meetings that I have with my members are confidential and I don't share the details of them," she writes. "That being said, Rep. Hernandez gave me permission to share what we discussed in our meeting. I met with him to inform him that there were wild rumors being spread about him. Let's be clear, this is a completely groundless whisper campaign against Diego. This is beneath the integrity of this institution."
Here is the full Facebook post from Rep. Hernandez: