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Lynden man accused of sending threatening texts to candidate

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A 33-year-old Lynden man has been accused of sending racially-charged death threats to a Democrat running for the Washington State House of Representatives in the weeks before Election Day.

The Bellingham Herald reports that Skip Edward Saunders on Thursday pleaded not guilty to felony cyberstalking and malicious harassment.

Sharlaine LaClair, a member of the Lummi tribe who lost her bid to unseat state Rep. Luanne Van Werven last week, called police in October after she began receiving threatening texts from a number that was ultimately linked to Saunders. The text messages frequently referred to people she knew and were both racially charged and threatening.

LaClair says she believes Saunders was responding to a Facebook post she wrote expressing disappointment in now-President-elect Donald Trump. Her phone number was posted on a campaign site.