LITTLE ROCK — The state Democratic Party said Monday it has filed an ethics complaint against a Republican candidate for a state House seat who accepted a campaign contribution that exceeded the legal limit.
The candidate said he was unaware of the law and would return the money in excess of the limit.
Leachville City Councilman David Ray Wallace, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Wes Wagner of Manila for the District 54 state House seat, reported earlier this month that he had accepted a $5,000 contribution from Labor Smart, a temporary employment service based in Hiram, Ga. Arkansas law limits campaign contributions from corporations and individuals to $2,000 per candidate per election cycle.
“Dave Wallace has broken Arkansas campaign finance law and should be held accountable for his actions,” state Democratic Party spokeswoman Candace Martin said in a statement Monday. “Voters should be able to trust that all candidates abide by the same rules that make sure our elections are fair and transparent.”
Wallace said Monday, “I didn’t know what the limit was, so we’re sending part of that back.”
Explaining his lack of knowledge of the law, Wallace said, “I’m not a career politician. I just made a mistake.”
He said he plans to file a revised campaign finance report after returning the excess money.
A candidate found guilty of violating the campaign contribution limit can be fined up to $2,000 per violation and sentenced to up to one year in jail.