An obscure Democratic candidate for the Washington state Senate has set off a dispute between her Republican opponents after several bizarre online posts on her part were brought to light, KIRO-TV reported on Wednesday.
The candidate, Lynda Messner, filed to run in the Aug. 5 primary for the 31st Legislative District just before the deadline last week, saying she felt closer to Democrats than Republicans.
"There's too much 'hate the rich, hate the Republicans, hate the Democrat,' hate the poor," she told KIRO.
But, as the Seattle Times reported, another lawmaker, state Rep. Chris Hurst (D), found posts Messner made under the name Lynda Wheeler Dabson on conservative websites linking President Barack Obama to serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer.
"Obama Bundy!!! Disagree with him and he will 'Dahmer' your hide," the post read. In another post, she stated that she believed Obama was "not a citizen," and called for the country to delay implementing not only the Affordable Care Act, but gun safety legislation, agreements with the United Nations, and immigration reform laws "until Obama can proove [sic] he is eligible to hold office."
The Times reported that the only other Democrat running for the seat, Layne Walthers, dropped out of the race after Messner entered, saying neither of them was known well enough not to split their party's vote. Mark Boswell, who chairs the 31st District's chapter of the party, said Messner entering the race also dissuaded two other potential candidates.
"She doesn't even sound like a well-informed Republican," Boswell was quoted as saying.
The top two finishers in the primary move on to the November general election.
According to the Tacoma News Tribune, Messner last ran for office in 2009, in an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the city council of Bonney Lake, just under 40 miles from Seattle.
But her latest run has provoked bipartisan suspicions that she might have been put up to campaigning by incumbent state Sen. Pam Roach (R). The other GOP candidate, state Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R), told the News Tribune that Roach was accused of a similar maneuver by Democrats in 2001.
"I've never been the most moderate candidate in an election until now," Dahlquist was quoted as saying.
Roach denied any involvement with Messner's campaign to both KIRO and the News Tribune, telling the latter it was a "labor Democrat" who signed her up, and that she did not know Messner.
"Everybody that was supporting me knew that it would be better to have one Democrat in the race," Roach was quoted as saying.
Watch KIRO's report, as aired on Wednesday, below.