STOLEN VALOR: Washington state Democrat candidate loses endorsement after allegedly lying about military service

"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."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
The Everett Herald Editorial Board yanked their endorsement of Democratic candidate for the Washington legislature, Clyde Shavers, and threw their support behind his incumbent opponent Republican Rep. Greg Gilday, after it was revealed that the challenger fabricated parts of his military record and lied about being a lawyer.

In a statement to The Post Millennial, Washington State House Minority Leader JT Wilcox said, "House Democrats and allies have spent more than $800k (reported) on Clyde Shavers (10th LD) behalf and when final numbers are reported it will likely go over $1M. He worked for the WA Democratic Party and he has been widely touted by WA House Democrats, especially by Dave Paul" another Democratic member of the legislature.

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."

Wilcox added, "It was all based on a series of lies that were exposed by an anguished father who couldn't bear to see the lies stand."

"This was the marquee attempt by House Democrats to knock off a House Republican."

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.

Brett, a US Navy veteran and retired Police Officer told the outlet that he loves his son but grew tired of his son’s “untruthfulness,” “blatant lie” and “dishonesty.” He told the Herald that a Facebook post on his son’s campaign page in which Clyde accused his opponent of attacking his “military service and family” was “the final straw” for the father and that his son’s portrayal of the family as a victim of Gilday’s campaign pushed them over the edge.

“We’ve been telling him don’t drag us into that,” he told the Herald.

Brett emailed a letter on Sunday describing the alleged falsehoods to Gilday’s campaign, which forwarded the letter to local media outlets.

“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," Brett said. “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.”

When he filed to run for office, Shavers registered with the Public Disclosure Commission as an Attorney for Perkins Coie LLP, however the Seattle law firm does not have record of Shavers in their employment database. He did work as a summer associate at the firm’s Seattle office while attending Yale.

Campaign mailers state that Shavers was an attorney. "After defending us in the United States Navy Clyde came home to take on a different fight: protecting our environment as an attorney," the mailers claim.

The Washington State Bar Association does not list anyone using that name passing the Washington State Bar that year. According to the Lynnwood Times, Shavers did receive his JD degree from Yale Law School in June of 2022. Candidates do have the option to write “intern” or “law clerk” or “other” on their F-1 form. Clyde told the Herald, “I fully intend to take the bar exam next year and serve as an attorney."

On Shavers’ campaign website, and in campaign literature, he also claimed to be a US Navy Submarine Officer. Brett wrote in his letter, “Clyde was never a submarine officer, not even for a day.” Brett told the Herald that Clyde passed only one of three courses required to become a nuclear submarine officer and that his son completed Naval Nuclear Power School, a 24-week program in Charleston, South Carolina but later transitioned into a role in public affairs.

According to the Lynnwood Times, Shavers’ campaign website was recently changed to read: "He commissioned into the nuclear submarine community and later transitioned as a public affairs officer in 2015."

Before his father’s letter went public, the site read "for more than 8 years he served as a nuclear Submarine Officer." On his UNICEF USA Profile it still reads "Prior to law school, he served on active duty in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear submarine officer" as does campaign literature as well as news articles and announcements.

According to Brett, his son has only expressed disdain for the military and "never wanted to go into the military nor the US Naval Academy, in the first place and bluntly stated animosity against the military and the people in it."

Brett wrote that the claim by Clyde that he was the son of a refugee is also false. Clyde previously stated that his mother immigrated to the United States from Japan to seek a better life. However, according to his father, she was a foreign exchange student who applied for US citizenship.

According to the Lynnwood Times, Clyde has also stated his parents told him "tough times don’t last but tough people do." The parents deny the claim stating that the family "never had hard times," and that Clyde’s claims of growing up in a farming family were also false "unless a garden in the backyard is considered farming." Brett also stated is not aware of his son ever experiencing homelessness as he had previously claimed.

The outlet also alleged that Clyde owns a condo in Kirkland, which is not in the district. He may be renting a room at a bed and breakfast in the district. Brett said, "The only relation Clyde has to LD10 is that we have driven him through LD10 on occasion when he was growing up. Prior to announcing his candidacy for LD10, Clyde had determined that LD10 was a district that he could win, and he would run there."

He added, that according to Clyde "the Democrat Party in Washington and residents of Whidbey Island wanted him there to flip it blue."

Clyde Shavers dismissed the letter as "inaccurate, and personally, very painful to [him] as his son," adding that he has not spoken to his father in years. "This is the kind of politics that is tearing apart families and communities. My campaign is about healing communities and moving forward," Clyde Shavers said to multiple outlets.

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