As predicted, pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby, who faced a string of stories about her personal life, won the Oregon GOP Senate primary Tuesday, and is now set to face Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) in November. Last week, she seemed caught off guard by reports about a nasty divorce several years ago and a more recent break-up with a boyfriend that led to allegations of harassment.
But Tuesday night she addressed the reports head on in her victory speech. The video (above) is worth watching because it shows just how emotional this matter is for her. With her statements it’s hard to imagine Democrats trying to score points on this, lest they risk being accused of sexism.
But Wehby still will likely be in damage-control mode in the near term as she continues to introduce herself to voters. According to The Oregonian, a staffer for the Democratic Party of Oregon requested the 2013 police report about an ex-boyfriend accusing Wehby of stalking him, which later became the subject of a story by Politico. Merkley has said that Wehby’s personal relationships are private family matters.
Tuesday night Wehby struck an almost confessional tone, but also made clear that she would fight back, casting Democrats as bullies. Expect this theme of bullying, which has an added resonance because Wehby is a woman running against a man, to come up again.
Here is what she had to say:
Look, Lord knows I’m not perfect. I am like countless other Oregonians. I’m a working mom who balances a career that I love with children that I adore and would do anything to protect. I try my best, but in my life I’ve made some mistakes. And when I do, I’m no different than any of you in that when I’ve fallen short, I have gotten up and tried to do better. I promise that as your Senator, I will do the same.
My message to the Democrats who are willing to shred my family for their own political gain is that people are tired of your dirty tricks. The best way to defeat a bully is to stand up to them, and that is exactly what we are going to do. Tonight, we are sending a message that this Senate race will not be decided by the ugly kind of politics that people in Oregon and across the country are sick of. That time is over.