The top Democrat in the New Hampshire state Senate is facing bipartisan calls to resign after his arrest Thursday on nine misdemeanor counts related to alleged domestic violence.
Jeff Woodburn, who has vowed to fight the charges, is accused by the state attorney general’s office of incidents dating to August 2017 that allegedly includes repeatedly biting a woman described as an “intimate partner,” striking her face and stomach, throwing water at her and causing damage to her property.
“I intend to fully address and defend against these charges in court,” Woodburn, a three-term senator who is seeking reelection, said in a statement. He did not address the calls to resign.
As a leading Democrat in the state, Woodburn is among those whose support has been sought by presidential candidates in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.
The state’s Republican governor and the head of its Democratic party were among those who called for Woodburn’s resignation.
“This morally reprehensible, violent behavior has no place in public service, or anywhere else,” Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said in a statement. “Domestic violence will not be tolerated in New Hampshire. Senator Woodburn must resign. Immediately.”
Ray Buckley, the chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, also called on Woodburn, 53, to step down, saying “any form of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence is completely unacceptable behavior for anyone let alone our public officials who should all be held to a higher standard.”
New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald (R) said an investigation of Woodburn is continuing, and that the senator is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 20.