Shavers holds slim lead over Gilday in WA legislative race

Nov 17, 2022, 5:40 PM
Clyde Shavers (middle), the Democratic candidate for Washington state’s 10th legislative district, has claimed to be an officer serving on a nuclear submarine in the Navy for eight years. (Photo courtesy of Clyde Shavers' campaign website)
(Photo courtesy of Clyde Shavers' campaign website)

Clyde Shavers, a Democrat running for a seat representing Washington’s 10th legislative district, has retaken the lead over Republican incumbent Greg Gilday by 238 votes.

Shavers has 36,327 votes (50.09% of the vote) while Gilday has 36,089 votes (49.77%), as of Thursday evening.

Public safety, freedom of choice, partisanship, veterans, taxes, housing, the environment, and healthcare are all issues Shavers’ campaign focused on ahead of the midterm election.

Allegations revealed misinformation regarding Shavers’ military career alongside falsified claims over a previous occupation as an attorney. Shavers’ father, a former law enforcement officer and author, released a three-page letter stating his son was lying when he claimed to have been a nuclear submarine officer.

Candidate issues apology after father alleged he lied about credentials

Republicans called for Democrats to withdraw their support for Shavers a few days before election night.

“I was commissioned as a nuclear submarine officer after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2013. After graduating from Nuclear Power School in 2014 and at the end of NPTU Prototype in 2015, I recognized that my interests lay in a different path in the Navy,” Shavers wrote in response to the allegations. “After facing challenges and realizing that I wasn’t a good fit for this community towards the end of the program (as I was assigned a submarine), I discussed with my supervisor to undergo the process to transfer to a different naval community. I served six more years in the Navy as a public affairs officer.”

Shavers was described as having “served as a nuclear submarine officer and public affairs officer with tours in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.” This description was seen on his website and campaign mailers.

Despite the controversy, Shavers still took an early lead in the midterm election before falling behind late Monday.

Dori: Don’t fall for state Dems last-minute ‘reverse psychology’

“To be clear, this letter is all about politics. While I haven’t spoken to my father for some time, I know that he was at the Capital on Jan. 6,” Shavers continued in his written response. “This is the kind of politics that’s tearing apart families and communities, and my campaign is about healing and moving forward.”

Gilday, a first-term representative seeking reelection, ran on the promise of making life in Washington more affordable after inflation spiked exponentially throughout 2022.

“Despite the devastating impact of the pandemic on individuals and families, our state tax collections have been resilient. Our state economy provided the Legislature a massive, $15 billion budget surplus in the 2022 legislative session,” Gilday said. “Unfortunately, the majority party blocked all attempts to provide any meaningful tax relief in the 2022 supplemental operating budget. I will continue to advocate for tax relief for struggling Washingtonians and small business owners.”

Shavers defeated Gilday 51.9% to 47.9% — a 2,000 vote difference — in the primaries. Gilday previously defeated Democratic candidate Angie Homola in the 2020 midterms by 891 votes.

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Shavers holds slim lead over Gilday in WA legislative race