We’re less than a week from Election Day, and in the 10th Legislative District — which is mostly Whidbey Island — one candidate is accused by his father of misrepresenting his military service.
The Everett Herald even pulled its endorsement of Clyde Shavers shortly after his father wrote a letter to the newspaper alleging his son lied about certain aspects of his background.
In the three-page letter, Brett Shavers claims that his son “was never a submarine officer, not even for a day.”
“The dad, I think, was justifiably offended by his son’s conduct,” said Alex Hays, campaign manager for Greg Gilday, the current representative of Washington’s 10th district.
Hays says Brett Shavers approached them, and that’s when the idea of writing a letter came up.
“The dad asked me, what are some options here or what could this look like — how can I correct the record here?” said Hays. “And I said, look, you’ve got lots of choices, and so we listed several things. The letter was the most logical, that’s the one they chose.”
KIRO 7 reached out to Clyde Shavers’ campaign, who declined an interview but sent a statement from Shavers that reads:
“His political letter is inaccurate and, personally, very painful to me as his son. 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.”
An earlier version of Shavers’ campaign website said that he served as a nuclear submarine officer, but when KIRO 7 checked the website on Wednesday, that part had been removed.
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When asked why it was taken down, the campaign said, “the language on the website was changed to eliminate any further confusion.”
On Friday, there was an update to Clyde Shavers’ campaign website, clarifying his military record.
His statement reads, in part, “I was honored to be accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy and serve my country. I stayed in the military beyond my service requirement because of dedication to the country and the brothers and sisters who served alongside me. 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. 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 6 more years in the Navy as a public affairs officer.”
Whidbey Island voters who spoke to KIRO 7′s Bridget Chavez said it’s sad to see the political climate tearing families apart like this.
“Politics can be a rough contact sport and it sounds like maybe that’s what Shavers is dealing with,” said Rich May, a Whidbey Island resident. “Hopefully people see through what happens and we get to find out what the real story is.”
The letter from Brett Shavers also alleges his son lied about several other things, including that he comes from a farming family and endured long-term homelessness.
KIRO 7 reached out to Brett Shavers but has not yet heard back.
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