Roach's Senate Challenger Gives 'Til It Hurts

His latest gift: "playing doctor" with two young girls.

The soap opera known as the 31st District state Senate race continues to touch voters never quite sure if they should laugh or cry. Our story so far: Republican incumbent Pam Roach—who pulled a gun on a staffer, had a temper tantrum when someone moved the roses on her legislative desk, and has been barred from her own party caucuses—calls opponent Matt Richardson "a really bad man." But oh, has he been good for her. She sued him for defamation, and won; blogged about his reckless driving; and linked to a video in which a man accuses Richardson of having had sex with the man's wife. Her campaign backers attacked Richardson on an anonymous Roach-friendly website, claiming he's "a danger to children." And now it's gotten dirty. Richardson, according to the Tacoma News Tribune, has left two teaching jobs after administrators accused him of inappropriate classroom behavior—including looking at female students "in a way that made them feel uncomfortable"—which Richardson denies. He now works at Wa He Lut Indian School, the NT says, but he's on paid leave there for reasons the school won't disclose. Richardson said he took time off to run his campaign. Naturally, the other website jumped in, saying it just doesn't know what to believe from this "sociopathic liar." More? OK, now Richardson's aunt and uncle are raising the issue of a 1993 statutory rape charge brought against Richardson, then a teen, for allegedly assaulting their children. He was 16 and they were 5 and 7. His mother babysat the girls at her home in Kent. Richardson pleaded to a misdemeanor, and said he and one of the two girls did nothing more than "play doctor." In a KING-TV interview, Richardson said his uncle and aunt, due to a family split over a contested will, coached the girls to have false memories. Of course, being thoughtful and fair, Roach didn't capitalize on this—other than linking to the KING segment on her blog, noting that her opponent has "multiple problems," and publishing comments from an unnamed letter-writer citing Richardson's "tainted reputation that he caused for himself because of his chosen behavior." Seems like the only thing we don't know about Richardson is how much Roach is paying him to run against her.

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