Former State Rep. Matt Wingard today announced he will try to recapture the seat he gave up in 2012.
That year, WW reported that he'd had a sexual relationship with a former staffer.
A former aide to Deputy House Republican Leader Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville) has accused him of giving her alcohol when she was underage, pressuring her to have sex, and keeping her on the public payroll after she ended the relationship with him and stopped reporting for work.
The former aide first approached the Oregon Department of Justice in January with allegations about Wingard’s conduct, which she says took place in 2010, beginning when she was 20.
Wingard admitted having sex with the woman but denied any wrongdoing. Nonetheless, he stepped down from his caucus leadership position and subsequently dropped his re-election bid.
After Wingard withdrew, his former aide issued a statement withdrawing one of the accusations she'd made. "With regard to a text message I sent to one of the Oregon Department of Justice investigators," the woman said on June 21, 2012. "I did so in the heat of the moment. I have no evidence that Mr. Wingard drugged me in any way at any time and I should not have said it."
The issue with his aide was the second scandal Wingard faced in his two terms. Earlier, he acknowledged having struck his then 7-year-old son with a screwdriver in 2002, for which he pleaded guilt to a misdemeanor assault charge
Wingard now hopes to reclaim the seat that his successor, Rep. John Davis (R-Wilsonville), is vacating.
He joins Richard Vial and John Boylston in the House District 26 GOP primary.
In his announcement, Wingard pledged to bring back the fiscal discipline that he says characterized the 2011 session, when Democrats and Republicans shared leadership of the House, in a 30-30 tie.
"I'm proud of what we accomplished, but there is more work to do," Wingard said. "I'm re-energized and ready to help conservatives win again."