Nathan Boddie should drop out of the race to represent Bend in the Oregon House and resign from his seat on the Bend City Council.

Did Boddie do anything wrong? We don’t know. But recent allegations of misbehavior, combined with his shocking response this weekend, will render him ineffective as both a councilor and, if he’s lucky enough to win, a legislator.

A Bend woman claims that Boddie slipped his hand down her pants six years ago at a bar, when she was 23 and he was 40. Moey Newbold, the woman who made the allegation, works for Central Oregon LandWatch, a local advocacy organization. She told people about the incident at the time. Boddie denied that it happened, then attacked her credibility by claiming that she had substance abuse problems.

Newbold’s claim followed anonymous allegations late last month from FuturePAC, the House Democrats’ campaign committee. They include sexist behavior, using a homophobic slur and promotion of the illegal use of alcohol. Boddie denied those allegations, as well.

FuturePAC handled the issue horribly. It refused to provide any details. Voters deserve better than that. It’s even more important now that FuturePAC should release details to allow voters to make up their own minds. It’s only fair to voters and Boddie.

The best thing Boddie can do to serve his community, though, is to drop out of the race and remove himself from the Council. He’s not likely to win election to the Legislature in November. And if he did, House leadership would almost certainly marginalize him — refusing to appoint him to any committees. And it’s hard to imagine that anything he said at Council meetings would be taken with credibility. Boddie needs to step aside.

20730931