Records show Rep. Dulin faces December trial on Ohio DUI charge. He calls it ‘a smear.’

North Carolina Rep. Andy Dulin faces a December trial in Ohio on charges stemming from a DUI arrest this summer, court records show.

Dulin, a Republican, is running for re-election against Democrat Brandon Lofton in southeast Charlotte’s House District 104.

According to documents from Erie County Municipal Court, Dulin faces a pre-trial hearing on Dec. 5. A trial is scheduled for Dec. 13.

Dulin was charged July 1 with driving under the influence when he was stopped along a turnpike about 60 miles west of Cleveland. Records show he refused a DUI test. He was released on a $400 bond.

“This is an obvious last-minute smear campaign by the Democrats and their liberal allies at the Charlotte Observer,” Dulin said in a statement Monday. “I pled not guilty for a reason and look forward to my day in court.”

Dulin declined further comment. His attorney, Christopher Marcinko, could not be reached.

The Observer confirmed the charge Monday after a tip. The paper did background checks on Dulin and other candidates earlier this year before the May primary and before the July charge.

“It’s pretty laughable to defend yourself by claiming that politics forced anybody to find out about this,” said David Furr, deputy executive director of Democratic House caucus.

Earlier this year Republicans sent mailers about a DWI that Democratic Senate candidate Chad Stachowicz had in 2008. It said he’d had a blood alcohol three times the legal limit.

“Too irresponsible. Too reckless,” it said.

Jim Morrill, 704-358-5059; @jimmorrill