The campaign arm of the Oregon House Democrats has pulled its support from Bend City Councilor and Democratic state House nominee Nathan Boddie because of what it describes as “allegations of inappropriate behavior.”
Boddie, a physician at Mosaic Medical, has served on the Bend City Council since 2015. He chose to run for the state House instead of seeking re-election this year, and he ran an uncontested primary race. The House seat, now held by Republican gubernatorial nominee Knute Buehler, is one statewide Democrats were targeting as a way to achieve a supermajority in the House because of Bend’s changing demographics.
In a Monday statement, House Speaker Tina Kotek said she believed allegations against Boddie were credible based on an investigation by FuturePAC, the House Democrats’ campaign arm. The statement did not specify the allegations.
“Elected leaders and candidates should be held to the highest standards, regardless of the political cost,” she said in the statement.
In May, FuturePAC listed Boddie as one of seven “outstanding Democratic candidates” and described him as a “committed champion for Central Oregon.”
Along with FuturePAC, the NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon PAC, the Oregon Nurses Association, AFL-CIO Oregon, Bend Fire Fighters Local 227, AFSCME, and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters are withdrawing their support from Boddie, according to the release. According to campaign finance records filed with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters has donated $1,000 to Boddie’s campaign, while FuturePAC provided $5,250 and NARAL $1,000 in in-kind contributions for consulting and data, respectively.
An earlier release credited to FuturePAC and circulated on Twitter and in news reports said the withdrawal of support was due to alleged sexist behavior and a homophobic slur.
“I only just learned of these outrageous accusations,” Boddie wrote in an email to The Bulletin, adding that he didn’t believe those allegations came from FuturePAC. “ … My colleagues across the aisle, or whoever is responsible for this, should be ashamed for taking the low road.”
In an email, Boddie said he’s spent his “medical and political career helping increase access to care for women and LGBTQ patients and anyone who needs medical treatment.” He was a featured speaker at Saturday’s Central Oregon Pride Festival and spoke during the 2017 Women’s March in Bend.
Boddie has apologized during the past year for inappropriate comments about women. In October, Boddie joked during a City Council work session about “pimping out” City Attorney Mary Winters’ time to a group of neighborhood association leaders who wanted legal help in forming a recognized city committee.
“I pimp out Mary’s time all the time,” he said during the meeting.
He apologized at the beginning of the next council work session.
Cheri Helt, a Bend-La Pine school board member and the Republican running for the state House seat, said in a statement Monday evening she was focused on her campaign.
“As a working mom, parent of a teenage daughter and supporter of LGBTQ rights, I deplore sexist and homophobic behavior,” she said. “My campaign will remain focused on improving education and being a moderate, inclusive and independent leader for Bend — not the troubles of my opponent or partisan politics.”
— Reporter: 541-633-2160; firstname.lastname@example.org