Thirty six year-old State Rep. Graham Hunt, a Republican from Orting, Washington, is working hard to locate proof of his military service as accusations fly that he lied about his contribution, service, and medals.
House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, said that he has told Hunt, to produce his service records and prove that he did not knowingly exaggerate his military service, according to a report by The Olympian.
Hunt is up for re-election this fall. But as of Wednesday, his name and photo had been stricken from the website of the House Republican Organizational Committee — the campaign arm of the state House GOP, according to the report. Kristiansen said he ordered Hunt’s photo and bio removed because of the military-service questions.
“While he is a member of this caucus, and I am hopeful he is able to clear up this matter, ultimately this is a serious enough matter where if he cannot clear it up…then I think he is going to have to step down,” Kristiansen said.
According to the News Tribune, Hunt has stepped down from his post as the statewide chairman of presidential hopeful Ted Cruz’s campaign.
“I don’t want these accusations to be a distraction to the candidate I hope to become president,” Hunt said.
Cruz campaign spokesman, Rick Taylor, said, “He voluntarily gave up the position,” via e-mail.
Hunt said on Thursday that he stepped down because he did not want questions regarding his service to hurt Cruz’s chances at the presidency.
“I still very much support Ted Cruz,” Hunt said.
The Seattle Times reported that Hunt’s military records did not prove his claim of being a “combat veteran” who served in Afghanistan and Iraq or that he had received medals for that service, as listed on his official and campaign biographies.
Records confirmed that Hunt served in the Air National Guard in Arizona, and that he had deployed to Saudi Arabia, and another classified location. The records showed Hunt earned medals including the Air Force Achievement Medal and Expeditionary Medal, but there is no proof of the Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal, he claimed he received.
Hunt said in an email he is continuing to search for records to show he did not mislead anyone. “I have continued working on trying to find documents to attempt to clear up the issues. I would like to have this cleared up… ”, according to The Olympian.
“I’ve even reached out for some congressional help to try to get documents to try to fix it,” Hunt said.
According to a military spokeswoman familiar with the case, records from a personnel center are sometimes incomplete.
Once he does find his documents, Hunt said he hopes he can return to working on the Cruz campaign.
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