Democrats continue to back Washington state legislative candidate who lied about military service

Washington state Democrat candidate for state office lied about his military service, according to his father. But that didn't stop a Democrat PAC from endorsing his campaign.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Clyde Shavers' own father went public with claims that his son was lying about his military record while campaigning to serve in the Washington state legislature. After this reveal, a local paper pulled their endorsement of Shavers, but a Demcorat PAC is continuing to back the candidate, despite the alleged lies.

Incumbent opponent Republican Rep. Greg Gilday gained the endorsement of that local paper after Shavers' lies were revealed.

After the letter went public, the Herald’s Editorial Board said in an article revoking their endorsement of Shavers and endorsing his opponent, "Regarding the misrepresentations, Shavers indicated on a state Public Disclosure Commission form and in campaign literature that he works as an attorney; however, Shavers, while he has graduated law school and has worked for a law firm, has not passed the Washington state bar exam, a qualification that the editorial board believes is necessary to make that claim."

"Shavers also made statements to the editorial board and in campaign literature that he had served aboard a submarine while in the Navy, before transferring to a public affairs office; however, while he completed some training for submarine certification, he switched to public affairs."

"Because of these misrepresentations, and the questions they raise regarding Shavers' integrity, the editorial board must rescind its recommendation that voters support Shavers for the state Legislature. Candidates for public office, because of the trust that is required to represent the interests of the residents of one’s district and the state, must be held to a high standard regarding the veracity of their record and their positions. Shavers has violated that trust."

According to the Lynnwood Times, Shavers' father Brett also alleged that Clyde "exaggerated his mother's immigration status, has not experienced homelessness, did not grow up in a farming family, and does not reside in the 10th Legislative District" all of which his son had claimed.

In the letter, Brett wrote, “The things he’s saying are not accurate, if not misleading. He’s saying he’s the son of a marine, son of a police officer, son of an immigrant, so it’s if he’s using our credibility to validate his statements. We’ve asked him not to embellish or lie constantly but he just continues. The letter is just a last resort [for Clyde] to please make better decisions.”

Since the revelations about Shavers, more details about his background have been called into question. According to the Center Square, “On Shavers' website, he claims that he was "compelled to establish the Yale Coalition to End Homelessness." However, The Center Square could find no source to prove it exists.”

The outlet reported that Yale University has worked with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, which was founded in 1982 and the Yale Hunger and “Homelessness Action Project is a student-run youth homeless shelter that was founded almost 50 years ago, according to the project's website. As yet, no data is available to show Shavers' involvement with either program.”

Additionally, The Lynnwood Times obtained Shavers’ Naval files and verified that Shavers was never a US Navy Nuclear Submarine Officer as he claimed.

Despite the revelations, New Direction PAC, an independent spending committee that is funded mostly by Democratic Party and labor-union contributions, claimed on their website and in a new mailing obtained by The Post Millennial that Republicans are smearing Shavers. So far the PAC has spent approximately $250,000 so far this year promoting him.


New Direction spokesperson Jared Leopold told Crosscut, the PAC has no plans to pull down its website. “New Direction PAC will continue to highlight the choice for voters between Clyde Shavers’ plans to stand up for the people of the 10th District and Greg Gilday’s record of standing with anti-abortion and gun lobby special interests," he wrote in an email to the outlet.

The PAC doubled down on the lies and accused his opponent’s “backers” of “attacking an American veteran in a mailer that was sent out after the revelations went public. In the latest mailer, Shavers wrote “Greg Gilday and his fat-cat supporters launched a last-minute political attack on Clyde’s service to win an election,” adding that Gilday had “some nerve attacking an American veteran.”

Local Democrat organizations that endorsed Shavers have refused to retract or condemn the candidate. The Washington State Democrat Party did not respond to requests for comment.

Democratic Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon told Crosscut, “I hope he's successful,” but added, "Prospectively, we would expect that he would be more clear in talking about all aspects of his work.”

In a statement to The Post Millennial, Washington State House Minority Leader JT Wilcox said, “We should all be appalled at the brazen attempt to smear the innocent party in this case. The Everett Herald got it right. Shaver lied about his naval service and he lied about his status as an attorney. They pulled their endorsement of Shavers, praised Greg Gilday, and endorsed him. That's an honorable path and the House Democrats and their supporters took the dishonorable path.”


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