Kitchen vows to stay in Youngstown mayor's race - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Kitchen vows to stay in Youngstown mayor's race

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DeMaine Kitchen DeMaine Kitchen

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - More on those explosive sexual harassment claims lodged against DeMaine Kitchen, an independent candidate for Youngstown Mayor.

Kitchen tells 21 News he will not drop out of the race, and says he has not done anything wrong.

Lyndsey Hughes, the Director of Downtown Events and Special Projects for the City of Youngstown, has accused the mayoral candidate of repeated sexual harassment that allegedly began in 2011 and continued as recently as June of this year.

Kitchen continues to deny the allegations, saying he's focused on finishing strong and victorious.

However, he is not willing to sit down and do an interview focused on the sexual harassment allegations, saying, "I will not let candidate John McNally's camp dictate my agenda for this campaign."

Kitchen maintains that the sexual harassment allegations are politically motivated by Hughes, who is a McNally supporter.

21 News has learned that there are allegedly text messages and emails related to the sexual harassment claims, and we have put in a public record's request for them.

Attorneys for Lyndsey Hughes have declined any further comment beyond the letter sent to city council and the law director asking for an investigation.  The Cleveland law firm says they do not want the appearance that this is politically motivated as implied, so they will let the investigation run it's course.

Kitchen, who is not only a mayoral candidate but the current Mayor's Chief-of-Staff, says he went on a leave of absence before the allegations were made, but it has nothing to do with why he's taking time off the job. Kitchen says this is time off that was planned a long time ago, so that he could focus on the final weeks of the campaign.

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