The father of a Democrat running for a seat in the Washington state House of Representatives has accused his son of lying about his military service.
Brett Shavers is the father of 10th District candidate Clyde Shavers, who has claimed in his campaign that he served for eight years as a nuclear submarine officer, according to the Everett Herald.
The Herald said it spoke to the elder Shavers to ensure it was him who wrote a letter to Republican opponent Greg Gilday.
“I have told him not to do embellishments and exaggerations and it continued and continued, it just reached a point where it’s affecting everyone’s integrity and honesty,” Brett Shavers said by phone, according to the report.
The letter, which addressed multiple issues that Shavers had with his son’s campaign material, said “Clyde was never a submarine officer, not even for a day.”
“Prior to Clyde’s announcement to run for office, he had asked me how to explain his failure of the submarine officer pipeline training,” Brett Shavers wrote. “I stressed to Clyde that he must be truthful and simply state that he went through the many weeks of training. Yet, as seen in campaign materials, Clyde chose instead to claim that he was a submarine officer.
“I explicitly explained to him that this is akin to claiming to be a Navy SEAL who never [completed] the training yet being awarded the badge reflecting the position.”
The elder Shavers, a retired Marine, wrote that his son “has only disdain for the military.”
“There are no words that I have that could come close to overemphasize Clyde’s negative view of the military, his disdain of enlisted service members, and his revulsion to wear the uniform,” he wrote. “This is from conversations that I have had with my son, when trying to convey the honor and privilege of being able to wear such a uniform fell flat on his ears.”
31-yo Democrat Clyde Shavers, who’s running for state House seat, has apparently lied about military service, family background, history of homelessness and farming… He does live in a bed & breakfast on Whidbey, though — Harsh words from HIS OWN FATHER: https://t.co/EjcDT1Y5sN
— Rachel Riley (@rachel_m_riley) November 1, 2022
A statement from the candidate blamed politics for dividing his family.
“His political letter is inaccurate and, personally, very painful to me as his son,” Clyde Shavers said, according to KIRO. “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 Capitol on January 6th – At the time of those texts, I was on military duty in Bahrain. I reached out to my father to let him know that I was safe, and he told me about his intention to travel to Washington, D.C. on January 6th.
“This is the kind of politics that’s tearing apart families and communities, and my campaign is about healing and moving forward.”
Andrew Linton, Shavers’ campaign manager, said the candidate was commissioned as a submarine officer but served in a different capacity, according to comments in a KIRO-AM interview reported by My Northwest.
“He was commissioned as a submarine officer and completed portions of the training,” Linton said. “During this time, he realized that he was better suited on a different path in the United States Navy and transferred to public affairs.”
The letter from Brett Shavers questioned other claims his son had made about his residency, his own career, his wife’s immigration to the U.S. and other bits of family history.
”Clyde’s use of his family’s history and values as a foundation for his credibility and values has gone farther than I can accept. He has abused it, embellished it, and at times, misled people about it,” the candidate’s father wrote.
“My wish for my children is for their success and happiness, and we raised them to value honesty, integrity, and personal sacrifice for others. My personal and professional life hinges on zero room for any dishonesty. These are our values,” he wrote.
“This is the most difficult letter I have ever had the misfortune to write, because it is about my son, my wife’s son, and my daughter’s brother,” Brett Shavers said in the letter. “We have nothing if we have no integrity. We have nothing if we have no honor. We only have the truth to guide us.
“As Clyde’s parents, it is our duty to impress the importance of these values upon him, even at our personal risk of being attacked, defamed, or discredited.
“Our love for our children does not wane, but our values will not be compromised either.”
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