Oregon House Democrats’ chances of increasing their majority by flipping outgoing Republican Knute Buehler’s seat in the Oregon statehouse may have diminished after they pulled support for the Democratic candidate on Monday.
The House Democrat’s political action committee, FuturePAC, said it was withdrawing support from Democrat Nathan Boddie after “serious allegations of inappropriate behavior.”
The allegations weren’t detailed in the press release, but Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek said in a statement that the campaign arm of the Democratic party investigated and she believes the allegations are credible.
“Elected leaders and candidates should be held to the highest standards, regardless of the political cost,” Kotek said, also mentioning the party is “very disappointed in Dr. Boddie.”
Boddie is a physician and Bend City Councilor.
He is vying for the seat now held by Buehler, who is running for governor. The Democrats were hoping to nab the seat where they have a voter-registration advantage. They currently have a 35 to 25 advantage over the Republicans and were hoping to gain a supermajority in November.
Boddie denied any wrongdoing to the Bend Bulletin, “My colleagues across the aisle, or whoever is responsible for this, should be ashamed for taking the low road.”
Boddie also lost the support from: AFSCME, Bend Fire Fighters Local 227, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon PAC, the Oregon AFL-CIO, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters PAC and the Oregon Nurses Association, according to the release.
The Deschutes Democrats posted on their Facebook page they would continue to support Boddie until they have more to go on than a press release.
"The Deschutes Democrats have long felt that whenever allegations of discrimination and harassment are made against people in power, the accuser should be believed," the post reads. "But when the accusations come from a Political Action Committee controlled by some of the most powerful people in our state, and the accused is a person who is well known in our community as a forceful advocate for women and the LGBTQ community, the question of what to believe becomes decidedly more difficult."
The Democratic Party of Oregon said they would replace Boddie if he resigned.
"If Dr. Boddie does not resign, he will remain the Democratic nominee for (House District) 54, as he was selected by Democratic voters for that seat in the May primary election," Molly Woon, the party's spokeswoman said in a statement.
The Republican candidate in the race is Cheri Helt, who owns two restaurants in Bend and is a member of the local school board.