- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Top Democrats in Oregon’s state House have withdrawn their support for the party’s candidate in an important swing district following allegations of unspecified misconduct.

In a statement late Monday, the party’s House campaign arm said it would no longer support Bend Democratic candidate Nathan Boddie after an internal investigation had substantiated allegations of misbehavior.

But the release contained no details on the nature of the allegations or their source, and appeared to have created some confusion among Democrats more broadly Tuesday, with several saying they were waiting for more information.

“I believe these allegations are credible,” the Democratic speaker of the House, Tina Kotek, said in the Monday release. “We are very disappointed in Dr. Boddie.”

The release also cited House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson as supporting the move.

But Molly Woon, deputy director of the Democratic Party of Oregon, said Tuesday that the group hadn’t taken a position, and was supporting the local Democratic party chapter, which Monday issued a statement on social media saying they continued to support Boddie.

“It does seem that there’s a lot of uncertainty,” Woon said, including around the nature and source of the allegations.

A spokesperson for Boddie, a physician and Bend city councilman, said Tuesday that the campaign had not been given details of allegations, but generally denied them.

“We still have not been informed what the allegations are… but in the realm the press release is suggesting, they are most certainly untrue,” said Alice Finer.

A spokesperson for FuturePAC, which supports Democratic House candidates, did not return messages seeking comment on the nature of the allegations Tuesday.

The controversy likely marks a setback for Democrats, who are trying to win Republican seats in swing districts and secure a supermajority in the state House.

The suburban 54th district is among the closest in the state, and one where Republicans have seen their advantage shrink: gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler won the district 2014 by roughly 17 percentage points, but in 2016 won re-election by only four points.

Boddie was elected to the Bend city council in 2015, but is seeking the House seat instead of seeking re-election.

He ran unopposed in the district’s primary, and in May FuturePAC, the party’s campaign arm, named Boddie as one of seven top Democratic candidates.

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