MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Rep. Bill Otto is running for Congress, and the race to replace him may be the nastiest race in the state.
Voters in the Maryland Heights-centered district have been inundated with attacks on Republican candidate Mark Matthiesen over a 2008 tax lien.
On Friday, mailboxes in the 70th district were filled with a mailer sent by the Missouri Republican Party, detailing a 2003 California restraining order served upon Democratic candidate Byron DeLear.
DeLear was quick to respond to the allegations that have entered into the race entering the final weekend.
“We all go through personal and private matters, as was this situation that took place a very long time ago for me. The bottom line is that I always have and always will have the utmost respect for women and nothing about this scenario calls that notion into question,” DeLear said.
The restraining order request wasn’t challenged by DeLear and no charges or further action was taken in the matter. It expired without further complaint to the granting court three-year in 2006. The mailing details some of the more salacious comments from the applicant, a former girlfriend of DeLear.
Matthiesen also responded to the mailing, saying, “I’ve lived my life with nothing but the utmost respect and honor for my wife, my family, and my faith. I am troubled by this disturbing account of Mr. Delear’s behavior as I know many voters are, but at this time, I’ll leave it to him to explain his actions.”
The mailing is only the latest in an increasingly negative race. For weeks, Matthiesen has been pummeled over unpaid taxes. Specificly, a tax lien was filed by the state of Missouri in 2013 over $998.86 in unpaid taxes from 2008. The lien was satisfied in May of 2014.
A mailing by the Missouri Democratic Party referred to Matthiesen as a pit boss and alleged that, “If Mark Matthiesen can’t manage his personal finances, he shouldn’t be allowed to manage yours.”
Matthiesen responded to the attacks as they were an accounting error by his employer.
“In 2008, my employer inaccurately reported my wages to the IRS and the Missouri Department of Revenue. It took until 2013 for the DOR to figure out the appropriate amount due, which was then immediately paid.”
The Missouri Times has rated the 70th district as the 10th most competitive race in the state, and the last 96 hours of the race look to be a very nasty.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.