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Northwest News Network

Washington Republicans Allege Vote Suppression Campaign

This mailer praising Tim Sheldon as a champion for women's reproductive rights started arriving in voter mailboxes last week.
This mailer praising Tim Sheldon as a champion for women's reproductive rights started arriving in voter mailboxes last week.

Republicans say an out-of-state Democratic group is trying to suppress the GOP vote in a hotly contested Washington state Senate race.

This mailer praising Tim Sheldon as a champion for women's reproductive rights started arriving in voter mailboxes last week.
Credit American Values First campaign mailer
This mailer praising Tim Sheldon as a champion for women's reproductive rights started arriving in voter mailboxes last week.

The state Republican Party filed a formal election complaint against a group called American Values First.

For months, Democrats in Washington have been trying to defeat one of their own. Democratic State Senator Tim Sheldon joined with Republicans in 2012 to help them take control of the Washington Senate. But last week, fliers started arriving in voter mailboxes praising Sheldon --as a champion for undocumented immigrants, Obamacare and women’s reproductive rights.

Sheldon believes it’s false praise with an ulterior motive in a race that features two Democrats on the ballot.

“I’m the more conservative of the Democrats so they’re trying to get the Republicans not to vote in the race,” Sheldon said.

The group behind the mailers is based in Washington, D.C and has ties to a national Democratic campaign committee. Asked if this is a vote suppression effort, a spokesman for American Values First said, “We are simply applauding Senator Sheldon for casting votes that we agree with.”

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network