Republican city council candidate arrested on child porn charges on Election Day eve

News & Politics

A man running for a seat on a city council in Texas has been arrested on charges related to the possession of child pornography. His arrest comes just one day before the election.

At around 6 a.m. Monday morning, police swarmed the home of Brad Benson in Granbury, Texas, a city of nearly 11,000 residents about 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth. That same day, Benson was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of child pornography. He has since been given a $200,000 bond.

Benson has been an active member of the Granbury community for decades, his campaign website claimed. He is the deputy fire marshal, a lifetime member of the Granbury Volunteer Fire Department, a member of the Granbury Airport Advisory Board, and the owner of a local movie theater.

He has also been running as a Republican for place 4 seat on the Granbury City Council. His campaign slogan is “Conservative, Texan, No BS.”

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Benson’s campaign website also discusses his sexual orientation. “I am not your ordinary political candidate, however. Besides being a long time Granbury resident and business owner, I’m a genuine conservative, both fiscally and ideologically. That said, I am also a gay man with a partner of nearly 10 years. He’s as conservative as I am—both of us believing that private lives should remain private,” the website said.

“I strongly believe that sexuality is a topic that should be handled within your own family, not in public schools or flaunted in parades,” the website continued.

On his website, Benson also identified himself as a Christian and claims to attend church.

Though Benson faces two other conservative candidates in the election, he had garnered the support of the Republican Party of Hood County. Immediately after his arrest, the group issued a statement, claiming that “a serious sex related offense may be involved. If these allegations are true, there is no way the party would ever condone such activity.”

Later Monday evening, the group issued a second statement severing ties with Benson and his campaign:

This morning we were notified of the law enforcement operation involving candidate Brad Benson for place #4, Granbury City Council. Our original statement was made based upon the information made available at that time. Since that statement, the Executive committee has conferred, spoken with law enforcement, confirmed more substantial information and 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 Republican Party stands for conservative, family values and the protection of children. These heinous acts are antithetical to what Republicans stand for. It is time for the justice system to act and if Mr. Benson is proven guilty, the punishment needs to be swift and severe. We sincerely hope that the grace and peace of our merciful God comes upon all the children and families involved, and that healing, repentance and restoration will be seen in personal lives, along with our beloved community.

The election for the Granbury City Council seats and other races will be held on Tuesday.

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