An Olathe man running for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives was arrested Thursday on a charge of election fraud.
Adam T. Thomas, 35, who is the Republican candidate for the 26th District House seat, is charged in Johnson County District Court with election perjury.
A spokeswoman for Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who has made fighting supposed voter fraud a central role of his time in office, declined to comment.
The spokeswoman also said Kobach would not comment on the arrest in his role as the GOP candidate for governor.
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The charge filed against Thomas is a felony and alleges that on May 31 he submitted a falsified document to state or county election officials.
Thomas was arrested Thursday morning and booked into the Johnson County jail.
Court documents available Thursday do not specify the allegations against Thomas.
But this summer, a Democratic lawmaker called for an investigation into Thomas, alleging that he provided false information about his residency when he filed to run for the office.
Rep. Vic Miller, the Democratic attorney who originally called for an investigation of Thomas, said he was glad to see “that the Johnson County district attorney has more political courage than apparently our secretary of state who claims to be so much against election fraud.”
The Kansas GOP declined to comment on the arrest.
House Speaker Ron Ryckman, an Olathe Republican, said in a statement: “We are obviously disappointed with this news, but trust the legal system in place to investigate these serious charges.”
Before the arrest, the State Objections Board was set to meet Monday at 1 p.m. regarding Thomas’ candidacy because of a challenge brought against him.
That board, which includes the lieutenant governor, the attorney general and the secretary of state, could decide to remove Thomas from the November ballot.
The charge was filed by the office of Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, who is a Republican.
Michael Kuckelman, the attorney for Thomas, referred to the situation as “pretty awful politics.”
Thomas is going to fight the charge, he said, and plans to run for office and stay on the ballot.
“It’s Kansas dirty politics at its worst,” Kuckelman said.
Thomas was released from custody after posting bond Thursday night and is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Sept. 18.