Alexa

Cain accuser sticks with allegation; he presses on

 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Defending the American Dream Summit, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz...
 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Defending the American Dream Summit, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz...
 Joel Bennett, an attorney for a woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment while both worked at the National Restaurant Association, speaks d...
 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain gestures as he walks toward the podium to speak at the Defending the American Dream Summit, Friday, Nov...

Cain 2012

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Defending the American Dream Summit, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz...

APTOPIX Cain 2012

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Defending the American Dream Summit, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz...

Cain Accuser

Joel Bennett, an attorney for a woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment while both worked at the National Restaurant Association, speaks d...

Cain 2012

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain gestures as he walks toward the podium to speak at the Defending the American Dream Summit, Friday, Nov...

A lawyer for one accuser of U.S. presidential hopeful Herman Cain revealed Friday that she had alleged "several incidents of sexual harassment" against the candidate, as he struggled to keep the allegations from dominating his unlikely challenge for the Republican nomination.
Cain, a surprise leader in the Republican contest for a candidate to oppose President Barack Obama, has spent the week responding to reports that he had been accused of sexually harassing women while he headed a restaurant trade group in the 1990s.
None of the three women has come forward publicly. Two of them had received payments from the group that bar them for discussing the matter, but one of them now is seeking permission to release a statement giving her side of the story.
Lawyer Joel Bennett said his client accepted a financial settlement as part of an agreement to leave her job at the National Restaurant Association shortly after lodging the complaint. Bennett did not name the woman, whom he said had decided not "to relive the specifics" of the incidents in a public forum.
Cain has denied sexually harassing anyone as he tries to resume normal campaign activities. A new poll indicated that Cain remained in strong position in the Republican Party nomination race despite the disclosures.
In a statement, the restaurant association said Cain had disputed the woman's allegations at the time she made them more than a decade ago. He was CEO of the organization at the time.
Cain continued to campaign Friday, drawing cheers from conservative activists as he delivered a speech focused on the U.S. economy. He is trying to convert his rise in opinion polls into a campaign organization robust enough to compete with Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and other rivals in early primary and caucus states.
In an appearance before the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, the career businessman pitched an economic program that features rewriting the U.S. tax code and referred only glancingly to the controversy that has overshadowed his campaign in recent days.
"I've been in Washington all week, and I've attracted a little bit of attention," he said, to knowing laughter from the audience.
The controversy surfaced as Cain, a black man in a party that draws its support overwhelmingly from white voters, was rising to the top in public opinion polls. His campaign announced Friday that donations so far this week have totaled $1.6 million, described as a fourfold increase over the average take for an entire month.
Official figures won't be available for weeks, but to judge from Cain's existing campaign organization, it could hardly come at a better time for him.
In Iowa, where caucuses kick off the state-by-state nominating process on Jan. 3, Cain has a modest presence at best. He let more than two months lapse between visits on Aug. 13 and Oct. 22, and aides say they don't expect him to return to the state until Nov. 19.
Nationally, Cain lags several of his rivals in fundraising, based on reports filed through the end of September, the most recent available.
At the time, Perry, the Texas governor, reported cash on hand of $15 million. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor making his second presidential run, reported $14.6 million.
Cain's cash on hand was $1.3 million, and his filing indicated he was more reliant on small donors _ those giving $200 or less _ than either Romney or Perry.
While polls are notoriously fickle, particularly before the first ballots are cast in a presidential race, Cain shot up rapidly in recent weeks, largely at Perry's expense, and his aides were eager to circulate the results of a Washington Post survey taken as the sexual harassment controversy was unfolding.
It showed him in a tie for first with Romney, who had 24 percent support to 23 for Cain. Perry had 13.
Seven in 10 Republicans polled said reports of the allegations don't matter when it comes to picking a candidate.
But in a sign of the possible danger ahead, the poll found that Cain slipped to third place among those who see the allegations as serious, and Republican women were significantly more likely than men to say the scandal makes them less apt to support the businessman.
The survey found that support for Cain was basically steady over the four nights of interviewing, even as new allegations against him surfaced.
The situation has been the target of late-night talk show jokes this week, and next week Cain risks wading right in. ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" said Friday that he will be a guest on the show Monday.
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Associated Press writers Kasie Hunt and Laurie Kellman in Washington, Tom Beaumont and Phil Elliott in Iowa, Steve Peoples in New Hampshire and Jim Davenport in South Carolina contributed to this story.