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State Rep. Graham Hunt, R-Orting, resigns after questions raised about his military service

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State Rep. Graham Hunt, R-Orting, abruptly resigned from the Legislature Tuesday after questions had been raised about his military service.

"It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that I hereby resign from my position as representative for the Second District, effective today," Orting said in a message posted on his official Facebook page. "Over the past week, substantial media attention has been devoted to inconsistencies in the records of my military service."

The Seattle Times reported last month that military records didn’t back up Hunt’s claims of being a “combat veteran” who served in Iraq and Aghanistan. Records also didn’t reflect that Hunt had received three medals he previously listed on his official and campaign biographies, the newspaper reported.

Records confirmed that Hunt had served in the Air National Guard based in Arizona, and had deployed to Saudi Arabia and another location that was classified, according to the Times.

On Jan. 28, he had stepped down as the statewide chairman of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign following accusations that he may have exaggerated his military record.

Hunt said in his message Tuesday: "In response to these questions, I have exerted my best effort in trying to compile a complete set of my military personnel files, which memorializes my service history. I have worked to identify and explain any remaining confusion to the best of my ability. ... None of us are without flaws, shortcomings, or mistakes. I take full responsibility for any errors I have made, and I fully accept the obligation to address them responsibly.

"As I have stated before, I have nothing to conceal, nor have I ever deliberately conducted myself in a manner that compromises my integrity or the integrity of this office. However, the recent speculation of impropriety has taken its toll on my family, my colleagues, and the community. The people of the Second District of Washington deserve a full-time representative who can zealously advocate for their objectives without distraction. Under the current circumstances, I no longer feel that I can meet these expectations. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the people of Washington that I relinquish my seat."

Hunt was appointed to the Washington State House of Representatives in January 2014 and elected as state representative in November 2014. Previously, Graham served as deputy mayor of Orting while also serving on the Orting City Council.