Candidate Says Financial Issues Won’t Force Him Out Of Race

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Damon Wallace, a Republican running for a state House seat in Benton County, says recent news about his finances will not force him out of the race.

The Arkansas Project, a conservative blog based in Central Arkansas, is posting information regarding Wallace’s finances and recently noted that he reported on his state Statement of Financial Interest that he owes $30,000 to the Internal Revenue Service. The statement, required of candidates for elective office, was filed in February 2014 with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

Wallace is vying for the open House District 96 seat against Grant Hodges in the May 20 GOP primary election. The winner faces Democrat Tom McClure and Libertarian Michael Kalagias in the Nov. 4 general election.

The current representative in that district, Republican Duncan Baird of Lowell, is running for state treasurer.

Hodges said Wallace is responsible for his “own actions and decisions.”

“Any questions about his past should be answered by him,” Hodges said.

State Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, said Wallace should withdraw from the race and maybe seek office at some later time after he gets his personal finances in order.

“If you can’t handle your own business, how can you say you can handle the state’s?” Hester said.

Wallace, who lives in Gateway, said the records about his finances are a “non-issue” and that he is staying in the race.

He said the IRS debt is the result of unemployment taxes from Mount Pleasant Sales and Service, his auto business in Gravette. The debt had been as high as about $60,000, but Wallace has paid down half of that amount, he said.

Wallace said he knew the documents about his finances were public and would come out during the election.

“In life, things happen you can’t control,” he told 5NEWS. “You get caught in some bad situations, and you work your way through them.”