A Texas Republican running for city council in Granbury was arrested Monday, one day before the election, and charged with possession of child sexual abuse material.
Brad Benson, a longtime Granbury Fire Department volunteer and Republican-endorsed candidate for city council, was taken into custody on two felony counts of child pornography possession, according to inmate records.
Hood County News reported, via an anonymous tip, that police raided Benson’s home on Monday. Further details about the arrest and the allegations weren’t immediately available.
In an email to HuffPost, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said Benson’s bond was set at a total of $200,000.
“Based on the limited information available, it is our understanding that a serious sex related offense may be involved,” a statement from the party on Facebook read. “If these allegations are true, there is no way the party would ever condone such activity.”
In a follow-up statement, the party said they had “spoken with law enforcement” and “confirmed more substantial information,” and that the party “unanimously withdraws their support for Mr. Benson.”
“Crimes of this degree tear at the heart and soul of society, and we condemn them in the strongest terms,” the statement read. “The Republican Party stands for conservative, family values and the protection of children. These heinous acts are antithetical to what Republicans stand for.”
Alex Wolf, a Republican candidate running for a separate spot on Granbury’s city council, said he was “repulsed” in a statement posted on social media.
“This hurts my heart deeply and I am so very angry as I’ve dedicated my life to protecting children,” Wolf wrote. “I ask that each of you pray for the innocent children potentially involved and let us all double down on making sure we protect all children, everywhere.”
Rhonda Williams, a candidate running for the Granbury school board, said the allegations made her feel sick.
“As a Mom and Grandmother, my heart is broken for all the innocent children hurt by this, if the charges are true,” she said in a statement. “I am literally sick to my stomach and this infuriates me.”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.