Dan Ward, one of the two Democrats running in the 7th congressional district primary June 12, said at a forum Tuesday evening that he fired a campaign staffer over inappropriate behavior.

Ward made the comment during an answer to a question about the #MeToo movement and how he would handle a staffer who committed sexual assault.

“As far as my staff, it’s not sexual assault but we had a member of our staff do something inappropriate and he was fired. And that happened last week. And that’s how we dealt with it,” Ward said. “That’s how I’m going to deal with it.”

The forum was sponsored by the Greater Richmond Humanists and held at First Unitarian Universalist Church.

In response to a request for further detail, Ward’s campaign issued this statement from him:

“I believe it’s critical that people in positions of power take issues of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment very seriously.

“That’s why when my campaign had a staffer who made inappropriate comments in front of another staffer, the person was promptly fired. We also informed the rest of the staff that there would be no tolerance for that type of behavior, and took the opportunity to educate the team.

“It’s important that all those in leadership, and men in particular, take complaints seriously and lead by example to address them. We hope this encourages other campaigns to do the right thing.”

Ward and Abigail Spanberger are competing for the chance to challenge Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th in the district, which includes parts of Henrico and Chesterfield counties.

Spanberger said at the forum she would show no tolerance for sexual assault by a staffer.

“They would be fired and I would call the police,” she said.

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