Controversy has tainted the election process for Arkansas' District 54 House seat, according to WHBQ-TV.
Crittenden County Democratic Representative Fred Smith vacated the seat in January after being convicted of felony theft involving duplicate payments of nearly $30,000. Specifically, Smith cashed both payments to his nonprofit group from the Dermott School District, the news source reports.
Before the Democratic primary for the vacated seat in May, candidate Leroy Grant, III purportedly left another candidate, Kim Felker, a voicemail insinuating that he was willing to provide absentee ballots in order to commit voter fraud. The allegations against Grant are currently being investigated by state police, along with an ethics complaint.
Additionally, the Republican Party of Arkansas recently filed a grievance with the State Ethics Commission about the conduct of candidate Hudson Hallum, who failed to itemize $50,000 in spent campaign funds in his finance report, according to the news source.
Hallum – a small business owner, firefighter, and paramedic – went on to win the election.