By Jim Haley
A state organization representing older Americans has accused a legislative candidate of falsely implying that the group has endorsed his campaign.
AARP Washington Friday issued a press release demanding that candidate D.J. Wilson of Edmonds discontinue use of the organization’s name in campaign materials.
Wilson, who denied he implied endorsement from the organization, said he will "absolutely" not use AARP’s name in future campaign literature.
Betty Means, an associate director of AARP, said the direct-mail piece sent out by Wilson that targeted senior citizens includes the name of a local AARP chapter president who supports Wilson.
The problem is, it identifies her as a Democratic precinct committee officer and as a local AARP chapter president.
The campaign asked the AARP chapter president and received permission to use the ARRP label "for identification only." Wilson did not check with the larger organization, which clearly objects.
"AARP is rigorously nonpartisan and does not support or oppose individual candidates, said AARP state director Jo Senters. "We have contacted the campaign and made it clear that the materials are misleading."
Wilson said: "We’ll abide by their preference."
Wilson, 26, is one of two Democrats battling for the party’s nomination to face Rep. Joe Marine, R-Mukilteo, in the November general election. The other Democrat is Brian Sullivan, former Mukilteo mayor.
The race has attracted statewide attention because the Democrats sense a chance to unseat a Republican and break the 49-49 membership tie in the House. Marine was appointed late last year to fill a vacancy when Renee Radcliff, R-Mukilteo, resigned.
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