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Topless Playboy pics 'have no bearing' on race, says candidate

A Sunday school teacher running on family values in her race for the Washington state legislature says she has no regrets about posing topless for Playboy 17 years ago while attending Yale.Democrat Amy Biviano, a small business owner and certified public accountant, has defended the 1995 photo shoot in local media reports as a confidence-building experience, but one she wouldn’t repeat now as a
Amy Biviano, candidate for state legislature in Washington, has spoken out about the release of photos she took in college.
Amy Biviano, candidate for state legislature in Washington, has spoken out about the release of photos she took in college.courtesy amybiviano.com

A Sunday school teacher running on family values in her race for the Washington state legislature says she has no regrets about posing topless for Playboy 17 years ago while attending Yale.

Democrat Amy Biviano, a small business owner and certified public accountant, has defended the 1995 photo shoot in local media reports as a confidence-building experience, but one she wouldn’t repeat now as a mother of two.

In a statement released by her campaign, Biviano said she stood by her “character and fitness” for office.

“People have asked me how I feel about this decision now, as a 37-year-old wife, mother, and political candidate,” she said. "My answer is that while I would not do the same thing now, this is not something that I made any attempt to hide. I haven't brought it up in the context of this race because it has no bearing on issues in the 4th legislative district nor the person I am today.”

Last week, a conservative website called Western Journalism Center unearthed Biviano’s photo from a “Women of the Ivy League” edition of the magazine.

Her opponent, Republican incumbent Rep. Matt Shea, released a statement saying that while he found the photos “alarming,” his campaign knew about the picture months ago and  decided against disseminating them.

“I am saddened by the release by a national media outlet of my opponent’s involvement in pornography,” he said. “I strongly condemn the release of this information.”

Biviano’s battle with Shea has been a bitter one. She has raised the fact that her challenger pulled a loaded gun from his car’s glove compartment following a traffic altercation. Shea was later charged with a misdemeanor for failing to possess a concealed weapons permit.

Shea has had an unusual photo of his own brought into question. He recently took a picture of himself in Biviano’s yard and posted it on his Facebook page. The incident was noted by the local paper, which endorsed Biviano earlier this week.

The Spokane-Review called Biviano “the sensible choice in this race” and called the late-breaking revelation about her photo shoot “a triviality.”

“What’s more relevant is the recent poor judgment shown by Shea in posting a Facebook photograph of himself in his opponent’s driveway. Given his troubling personal history, that’s a pose that’s far more worrisome.”

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