Kansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis pulled his first ad of the campaign after it was reported to feature an actor with a history of sexual misconduct, according to the Kansas City Star. The actor, Jeff J. Montague, was suspended from a teaching position at Seaman High School and forced to resign from the Boy Scouts of America in 1989 after allegedly making advances on a male exchange student, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. In 2007, the actor was arrested in a Topeka park as part of a law-enforcement sting related to solicitation of sodomy, according to information provided by the Kansas Republican party to the Journal.
Clay Barker, executive director of the Kansas Republican party, told the Journal that use of the actor raises concerns about Davis’s judgment. “Sex crimes, particularly those with children and students, are a serious matter and associating a campaign with someone of this background raises doubts about Paul Davis’ fitness for office,” Barker said.
The removed ad’s script reportedly involved Davis rebutting points of criticism raised by the actor, and closed with Davis telling the actor, “Thanks, Jeff. You’re not so bad yourself.” After pulling the advertisement down, Davis released a statement saying the ad only aired for a few hours and apologizing to Kansans for the mistake. Prior to the release of the ad, Davis narrowly led incumbent Republican governor Sam Brownback by 2.8 points according to RealClearPolitics’ average.