Brad Benson, a city council candidate in Granbury, Texas, was arrested Monday on felony child pornography charges.
Benson, a deputy fire marshal and small businessman, was a Republican candidate for Place 4 on the Granbury City Council in Tuesday’s election.
“Brad Benson was taken into custody on Monday morning and charged with two counts of possession of child pornography, a first degree felony,” FOX 4 reports.
“Based on the limited information available, it is our understanding that a serious sex related offense may be involved. If these allegations are true, there is no such way the party would ever condone such activity,” the Republican Party of Hood County said in a statement, according to CBS News Texas.
Election Eve shocker in Texas: Granbury council candidate Brad Benson is arrested a day before his election, will face charges of possession of child porn. Hood County GOP says if it's true there is "no way the party would ever condone such activity." https://t.co/BmK8XH2cNW
— Bud Kennedy / #ReadLocal (@BudKennedy) November 7, 2023
From FOX 4:
Multiple agencies assisted in the search for evidence and arrest, but the District Attorney’s office said little else, citing an active investigation.
The DA’s Office would not say what led investigators to Benson or reveal any details about how or where child porn images were allegedly obtained.
The arrest affidavit FOX 4 requested for Benson has not yet been made available.
Benson is a Deputy Fire Marshal, member of the Granbury Volunteer Fire Department and small businessman, according to the Hood County Republican Party.
He is also listed as the general manager and partner of Cinergy Cinemas.
The Granbury Volunteer Fire Department Chief declined an on-camera interview, but told FOX 4 off camera that Benson was suspended from all activities with the organization.
The Republican Party of Hood County issued another statement Monday evening.
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.
SHOCKING: Brad Benson, a candidate for the Granbury City Council in Texas, was arrested on charges of possessing child pornography just one day before the local election.
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) November 8, 2023
The Blaze added:
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.”
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.”