Ore. Senate candidate addresses harassment reports
OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — The Republican nominee in Oregon's U.S. Senate race said Monday that disagreements with former partners that resulted in calls to the police show that she stands up for her beliefs and "will fight for Oregonians with very strong conviction."
After three weeks staying largely out of the public eye, Monica Wehby held a meet-and-greet with supporters in Oregon City and took questions from reporters. Police reports made public days before the May 20 primary showed that an ex-husband and a former boyfriend both called police on Wehby as their relationships were deteriorating, reporting that she was harassing them.
"I think that the thing to learn from that is that I am a person who will stand up for what I believe in," Wehby said of the police reports. "I'm a person who doesn't easily back down. I will fight for Oregonians with very strong conviction. I'm a very committed, determined person."
Wehby was not detained or charged with a crime in either incident. She said there's nothing of substance to the reports, and both men remain friends and supporters of her campaign.
"Nobody is perfect. Nobody wants to have every single aspect of their life scrutinized," Wehby said. "But you know, I kind of like people who aren't perfect; they're easier for me to relate to."
Wehby faces first-term Democrat Jeff Merkley in the November election.
Oregon is a reliably Democratic state, but Republicans hope Wehby, a surgeon, can harness frustration with President Barack Obama's health care law to make the race competitive.
She said Democrats are emphasizing her personal life because they're concerned Merkley will lose.
"I think he knows that he can't win on the issues ... and that's the first thing you do is attack the messenger when you can't win on the issues," she said.
Merkley has declined to comment on the police reports, but his campaign has chided Wehby for avoiding most reporters since they became public.