Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information from Janet Irons, Kelly Spratt's attorney.
Fifth District Senate candidate Brad Toft says he believes there's no question that Kelly Spratt's attacks on him are politically motivated, but he says she's gone too far and he's seeking a court order to stop her from contacting him and his family directly.
Spratt, a Sammamish resident who had worked with Toft about 8 years ago at Quadrant Homes, began making claims of unethical conduct by Toft back in December when he first declared his candidacy, he said.
"She's never made any claims to me before this," Toft said.
Toft said he doesn't want to curb Spratt's right to criticize him or to speak, but says she has sent threatening emails both to him and to his wife, and he wants them to stop.
According to Toft, she also has appeared at events not simply to participate or to criticize him politically, but to try to take over and get into a personal fight with him in public.
"It gets to the point where you need to be concerned about safety, of myself and my family. It doesn’t abridge her right to tell what she wants to tell in public and in the media."
Toft said emails from former 5th District Senator Republican Cheryl Pflug hint at a connection by repeating vague claims about disreputable behavior that Spratt has made.
Toft also claims that both Pflug and Mark Mullet follow Spratt's twitter account, which he says has been used to further spread her vitriolic messages (the account is set to private, so only confirmed followers can see her tweets). Mullet, for his part, says he doesn't tweet at all, and has no connection to Spratt, though he acknowledges that his campaign may have a twitter account but if so, he is not directly involved in it.
Mullet says any claim by Toft that his campaign is involved with Spratt is "a blatant lie." Mullet has stated on Sammamish-Issaquah Patch that he doesn't know Spratt, and told Patch yesterday that detractors are part of the political life.
"I've been on the city council for three years. The fact is you deal with people who disagree," Mullet said.
Washington State Wire published an extensive article on the controversy yesterday, and Toft will have his day in court today, Sept. 28.
"This is a competitive race and it tells me they are nervous," Toft said, noting that Spratt is represented by Janet Irons.
Irons tells Patch that she is an active member of the Republican Party (her mother, also named Janet Irons, was formerly an activist in the Democrat Party but no longer is politically active, Irons said), and representing Spratt as a private citizen who is just trying to exercise her right of free speech.
Irons calls the anti-harrassment suit, "perplexing, because Kelly has not had any direct private contact with Brad in the last six months," either by phone or email, Irons said.