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Bend Democrat runs as third-party candidate for Oregon House

August 29, 2018

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Bend Democrat is running for a seat in the Oregon House as a third-party candidate after the Democratic candidate refused to drop out of the race following sexual misconduct allegations.

The Working Families Party, which often backs pro-labor Democrats, announced Monday that it had nominated nonprofit founder Amanda La Bell for the empty 54th state House District seat, The Bulletin reported .

La Bell will appear on the November ballot along with Republican Cheri Helt and Democrat Nathan Boddie — the Bend City Councilor who was accused of groping a young woman and attacking her credibility.

Boddie did not return the newspaper’s call Monday and has not responded to attempts to reach him in two months.

La Bell co-founded the Bend Diaper Bank and the Rebecca Foundation, which provide diapers to low-income families and free menstrual products to Bend-area schools.

“Like many in our community, I was shocked to learn of Nathan Boddie’s inappropriate behavior and language toward women, young people, and members of our LGBTQ+ community,” La Bell said in a statement. “Moreover, his response is not what we expect from our elected leaders. That left us, the voters, with an impossible choice: a Democrat who is not fit for elected office or a Republican who has never been a champion for working families.”

La Bell previously volunteered to replace Boddie if he decided to drop out.

Since she filed to run for office, she has been endorsed by Gov. Kate Brown, Sen. Jeff Merkley and former Gov. Barbara Roberts, as well as two Bend councilors and local advocacy groups.

“Democrats are rallying behind her, and they’ve been incredibly supportive of the choice,” said David Shor, organizing director of the Working Families Party.

La Bell is the party’s only direct candidate this year, but it has cross-nominated nearly 40 other candidates, Shor said.

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Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com

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