WASHINGTON STATE -- A conservative and anti-choice political group has distributed purposefully misleading mail posing as pro-choice organizations in a blatant attempt at voter suppression. The National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington (NWPC-WA) stands strongly behind our endorsed candidates who are the targets of these deceitful ads, including Erin Fraiser, candidate for state representative in the 19th district, and Jessa Lewis, candidate for state senate in the 6th legislative district.
“Women already face many barriers to running for office. We are used to helping our candidates navigate through the typical misogyny and sexism that occurs throughout the campaign, but we are simply appalled by this new level of dirty campaign tactics that aim to suppress votes for pro-choice women candidates,” said Samantha Casne, president of NWPC-WA. “We urge the PDC to investigate the organizations and/or people behind these mailers. In the meantime, we are continuing our emphatic support for Erin, Jessa, and the 92 other women candidates we have endorsed across the state this year.”
Both of these candidates are in extremely close races and every vote will make a difference. The fraudulent mailers hijack the logos and branding of several pro-choice and pro-women organizations with the message to support write-in candidates who are not running for office. The organizations whose endorsements are being misrepresented have issued statements condemning the mailers and are pursuing legal recourse.
In the 6th legislative district, the mailer urges voters to write in Joe Pakootas rather than Jessa Lewis. Pakootas is not running and is publicly supporting Lewis. In the 19th legislative district, the mailer encourages voters to write in the name Teresa Purcell rather voting for Erin Fraiser. Purcell is not running for office and has forcefully condemned the mailers and those behind them.
“I am not running and I have been supporting Erin Frasier since she announced her candidacy. This is just another example of depths that Jim Walsh and his supporters like Glen Morgan will sink to in an attempt to influence this election – it is shameful. We cannot let these bullies win,” said Purcell. “I strongly support Erin Frasier and urge the voters of the 19th legislative district to vote for her.” Campaign filings by the same group also indicate mailers targeting Connie FitzPatrick running for state representative in the 26th legislative district, but those mailers have yet to be verified.
The National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington (NWPC-WA) is a multi-partisan, grassroots, membership organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected and appointed office at all levels of government through recruitment, training, and financial support for endorsed women candidates. Our mission is to identify, mentor, educate and support women leaders in our community who demonstrate a commitment to reproductive freedom and women's political, economic and social equality.