ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) -- A judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed against U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio.

Republican Art Robinson's $1 million lawsuit alleged that the congressman twisted his words and illegally appropriated his likeness on campaign billboards.

In tossing the suit, Josephine County Judge Pat Wolke said DeFazio played loose with some facts, but candidates are public figures and state law protects political speech.

DeFazio told the Roseburg News-Review in a written statement Wednesday that the lawsuit was a ploy to distract voters from the issues before the election.

DeFazio defeated Robinson by more than 70,000 votes in November.

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