Republican Party of Arkansas Chair Doyle Webb is calling on state House candidate Jim Hall "to resign his candidacy" following an appeals court ruling affirming harassment charges. Hall, a Republican from Monticello, maintains his innocence and says he won't step out of the race even though he faces jail time.
"I am not guilty and if I have to vote absentee from the jail I will do it. But I refuse to withdraw from this race," Hall told KUAR News.
In a statement, Chair Webb said Hall should get his personal life in order.
“In view of the Arkansas Court of Appeals affirming Jim Hall’s conviction of harassment and harassing communications, it is now obvious that he should focus on putting his personal life in order rather than running for public office. His actions do not reflect the values of the Republican Party of Arkansas. Therefore, I call on Jim Hall, House District 9 nominee, to resign his candidacy."
The Arkansas Appeals Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling finding Hall guilty of three charges related to harassment of his ex-wife, her attorney, and her pastor. He says his ex-wife and her family are the real criminals, claiming his ex-wife physically abused their children and that the pastor was sexually abusive to his children.
Hall accuses local law enforcement, prosecutors, and the judiciary of working in concert with the Department of Human Services to deny him access to his children as a favor to his ex-wife's family, the Mahoneys, and in retaliation to a blog he runs that has been critical of DHS and local officials.
Hall's former mother in law was arrested on charges of solicitation of murder by local officials earlier in the year. A judge dropped the charges based on a "renunciation defense" since she was said to have changed her mind about it one day after discussing it with a neighbor.
Hall faces up to a year in jail but that could be reduced to 90 days if he agrees to certain conditions upon his release. He says he'll request a stay from the Arkansas Supreme Court and promised to "take it the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary."
Hall is running against retired U.S. Army Brigadier General LeAnne Burch. The Democrat from Monticello was nominated at a special convention earlier this month. Democratic state Rep. Sheilla Lampkin died of cancer in July.