A Republican lawmaker has resigned from the Washington state legislature and quit his role as Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign chair over accusations that he exaggerated his military service record.
State Rep. Graham Hunt (R-Orting) stepped down Tuesday due to media coverage of what he described as “inconsistencies in the records of my military service,” reported The Seattle Times.
Hunt resigned, effective immediately, after meeting with other lawmakers to address reports that he was unable or unwilling to provide military service records to prove he served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan or won three medals he listed on his official biography.
The lawmaker, who was elected in 2014 to the legislative seat to which he was appointed the year before, also removed a doctored photo from his Facebook page that falsely identified a soldier as Hunt in the aftermath of a mortar attack.
He deleted some references in his online biography to medals that military service records do not verify that he earned.
The newspaper reported that some of Hunt’s former friends and allies had raised additional questions about the lawmaker’s service record following the initial reports.
Josh Penner, who served with Hunt on the Orting City Council, said the GOP lawmaker had repeatedly lied to him and others about serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The head of the state’s Libertarian Party, Steve Nielson, shared a private social media message from Hunt claiming that he had been shot in Iraq and stabbed in Afghanistan.
Hunt insisted he had “nothing to conceal,” but he admitted he could communicate “more clearly.”
He stepped down last week as Washington state chairman for Cruz’s presidential campaign.
Hunt was part of a delegation of out-of-state lawmakers who traveled to Oregon to meet with armed militants who were occupying a federal wildlife refuge
The leaders of that group have since been arrested on federal charges, and one of them was shot by law enforcement officers after attempting to flee.