Monica Wehby, Oregon's Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, defended herself Tuesday after a storm of negative publicity from police reports filed by an ex-husband and an ex-boyfriend that accused her of stalking.
In an interview with The Oregonian, Wehby accused Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) of releasing the reports and said they sensationalized "minor incidents."
"I think these are personal matters that have been put to rest by the fact that both of these guys are close friends of mine and very supportive of my candidacy," Wehby told the paper. "I don't think any of us –- man or woman –- would like to answer out in the public square for things that we say to our spouses in the heat of an argument. I find this to be a despicable attack by Merkley and his band of bullies."
Merkley has denied any involvement in releasing the reports.
Last month, Wehby defended herself to conservative Oregon radio host Lars Larson, but wouldn't answer questions from other media. The three police reports, from 2013, 2009 and 2007, describe complaints from Wehby's former boyfriend and her former husband that she had been stalking them. One of the police reports found its way into the media shortly before the May 20 primary.
Wehby has tried to project a more moderate image for herself in the campaign, saying that she supports access to abortion, although she is personally anti-abortion. She has campaigned on repealing Obamacare, although her campaign has admitted repeal is not "politically viable at this point."
"I don't like the politics of personal destruction," Wehby told The Oregonian. "But I love this country. I got into this race because I wanted to help and I thought I could make a difference in the lives of Oregonians. ... This clarified to me in a very personal way what is wrong with politics in this country."
HuffPost Pollster shows Merkley leading Wehby ahead of the November general election:
CORRECTION: This article incorrectly stated that Wehby had refrained from saying she'd try to repeal Obamacare if elected. Wehby has in fact campaigned on repealing Obamacare.