Candidate mails out false endorsement, calls it 'honest mistake' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Candidate mails out false endorsement, calls it 'honest mistake'

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John Olson's statement after an "honest mistake" caused voter confusion. John Olson's statement after an "honest mistake" caused voter confusion.
A copy of John Olson's original mailer A copy of John Olson's original mailer
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -

Dozens of voters received false mailers from John Olson's campaign, something Olson has since apologized for. Olson is a Republican candidate for the Stevens County assessor. 

The cards were sent out to voters in Arden, which is just south of Colville. Each one of them stated that the Arden Fire Chief Louis "Joe" Paccerelli saw Olson as "The candidate who possess the best skills for the job." 

The problem is Paccerelli did not endorse Olson. 

Paccerelli says when he received the mailer he didn't think much of it until his commissioners started asking questions. "I told them I did not endorse him. Then it went from being mildly annoying to becoming a professional issue."

One voter contacted KHQ and expressed confusion over the mailer because she had not known Paccerelli to endorse candidates. 

"In my 17 years as chief, I've only endorsed one person for Coroner." Paccerelli says. "I'm sorry I just don't do that." 

After bringing the issue up to Stevens County election officials the Olson campaign was quick to respond and give an explanation for what happened.

In an email to Paccerelli and a Facebook post Olson expressed his apologies saying, "It was an honest but terrible and unfortunate mistake." KHQ reached out to campaign manager Grant Peterson directly through email, but did not hear back. 

Olson went on to explain that Chief Joe Paccerelli and his son share the same name which is how the mix up happened. "Unfortunately when the registered voter list was consulted for addresses the father's address was mistaken for the son's." The campaign plans to send out new mailers to voters correcting the mistake and offering "sincerest and deepest apologies." for the mix up adding that in no way was it intentional.

When KHQ spoke with Paccerelli he said, "Their campaign manager came out and apologized and offered a retraction." Paccerelli says he was pleased with how quickly the matter was resolved.

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