THURSTON COUNTY –– C Davis, a candidate for the Thurston County Board of Commissioners, allegedly made inappropriate and "creepy" remarks to girls as young as 12 at local churches, offering them flowers and candy and seemingly made a point of trying to find a “child bride” in a church setting.
Several women — most of whom are now adults — accused Davis on social media in recent days, with one confirming to the JOLT that the Republican candidate made advances to her about 16 years ago.
The mother of another girl told the JOLT that Davis's troubling behavior has continued more recently, with her daughter bothered by interactions with him when she was just 13 years old.
The accusations — which Davis denied, saying he doesn't "even know" the people raising the issue — were made on Facebook in recent days, after the August 4 primary election.
Davis, one of the top two candidates for the county’s board of commissioners, was endorsed prior to the election by the Thurston County Republican Party.
“When I was 12, C Davis began attending St. George Church in Lacey. My family was very involved in the small church community and I knew just about everyone,” said Marya Wargacki, who said she was harassed by Davis as a girl. “I thought I was safe, but I was wrong.” Wargacki grew up in the Olympia area but now lives outside of Thurston County.
The JOLT spoke with Wargacki, who said the timing of her Facebook post was in response to finding out he is advancing in the primary to the general election and how she felt uncomfortable he was seeking political office. The post had nothing to do with his personal politics, she added.
“Not 30 minutes went by and someone else said they had a bad experience with him [at the church in approximately 2004], too,” Wargacki told The JOLT. “I would expect more homework would be done before people are allowed to run for office.”
Wargacki, who in an Aug. 19 Facebook post, said Davis approached her several times and asked her questions that made her uncomfortable –– questions like “Do you have a boyfriend?” “Do you want to get married?” “Do you want children?” “Where is a good place to find a wife?” –– all while she was 12 years old. Other similarly-aged girls in Wargacki’s church at the time felt unsafe around Davis, too, she said, so much so that Wargacki and the other girls at St. George Church had secret signals they devised together in an effort to avoid him.
She said the deviant behavior continued. She’d catch him staring at her during church services, which he attended every Sunday. He’d follow her around the church campus while she played with other kids, and even followed her into a field behind the church when she was alone. After another woman at church approached Wargacki’s mother to tell her Davis was acting inappropriately towards Wargacki and other girls, Wargacki’s parents asked her about the man’s behavior.
“I told my mom I had been afraid, anxious and uneasy for months,” Wargacki recounted in her Facebook post. “I asked if C Davis knew or could find out where we lived. I had told him where and when I play basketball, and my parents told my coach to keep an eye on me.”
Wargacki’s parents let her skip church every Sunday in the following weeks. She said Davis approached her parents when they went to church without her, asking where she was and what kinds of flowers and chocolate she liked. Two participants at St. George said they heard C Davis say that he was looking for a “child bride.” After being asked to not return to St. George Church, Davis continued to pursue Wargacki on social media while she was still a teenager.
More than one accuser
Wargacki wasn’t the only one, and St. George's wasn't the only church.
Davis also attended other churches in the area, including St. Michael's Parish in Olympia. A young woman who attended St. Michael's with her family growing up said Davis approached her and made her feel uncomfortable with his questions.
"C Davis approached me after I had been singing at one of our church services," said Crystal McDonald, who attended St. Michael's as a girl. "He complimented my looks and my singing. He brought cards and flowers to my church. He told my dad we were getting serious."
Despite numerous requests to be left alone, McDonald said Davis continued to try to talk to her. McDonald's father and the church's music minister, McDonald said, also asked Davis to leave her alone.
"C Davis did not listen," McDonald continued in her Aug. 19 Facebook post. "C Davis was eventually asked to leave our parish and never come back. Do not vote this predator into office."
It seems the messages are being heard by those who previously endorsed Davis for the county board of commissioners.
“We’re not moving forward with endorsing him,” said John O’Callahan, chairman of the Thurston County Republican Party. “We’re going to step aside and not be affiliated with him.”
The inappropriate behavior towards young girls isn’t the only problem county party officials have with Davis. Other accusations surfaced in recent weeks that Davis didn’t register to vote properly, calling into question his legitimacy as a political candidate. Chief among the concerns over his legitimacy as a candidate is whether or not his name is even C Davis, as at least one person who spoke to JOLT about Davis knew him to go by the name “Celeste” at times. He also goes by the name “CDavis Plover” on his personal Facebook page.
Members of at least one church Davis used to attend thought it odd he only ever introduced himself as “C” and that he never wanted to socialize with the other grown men of the church, only the children.
“He never told us what his first and last name was,” said John Charba, a former member of the congregation at St. George’s. “He just said his name was ‘C.’ He would stand with his cup of coffee and watch other kids. We would find him wandering off, trying to visit with the young girls.”
Charba added, “We always had the men of the parish watching him. We were all on alert and made it a point to never let him have unsupervised access to the children.”
Despite the multiple allegations from not only young women, but men affiliated with local churches Davis used to attend, he still contends he’s never met the women who accused him of inappropriate behavior and that all accusations against him are untrue.
“Someone has been making false allegations against me and my good character,” Davis said in his own Aug. 19 Facebook post. “All of those allegations are false. I am now being falsely accused by people I don’t even know.”
Davis, who said he is in good company with U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, as well as President Donald Trump, said people should “follow the money” and these allegations are coming forward from someone “Who’s gravy train has ended.”
“These allegations have never been brought up before today,” he said in his post.
It seems the behavior didn’t stop with Wargacki and other young women, all of whom had troubling experiences with him several years ago. One teenage girl on Facebook said she also had an experience with Davis she described as “creepy” when she volunteered with her first political campaign "slightly over two years ago" when she was 13 years old.
“He did keep getting closer and closer as my daughter was backing up away from him,” the girl's mother told The JOLT yesterday.
“Luckily, someone from the campaign noticed what was happening and pulled me away," the girl wrote. "I still get creeped out and have mini panic attacks when I hear his name or see him out at events.”
JOLT Publisher Danny Stusser contributed reporting.