Wichita House candidate Jim Price was arrested in May on his birthday because police suspected him of illegally possessing a gun and marijuana, law enforcement records show.
Price, who is running as a Republican against House Democratic Leader Jim Ward, initially said during an interview Tuesday that he had not been arrested on May 17. “No, not that I know of,” he replied.
Later in the interview, he refused to say whether police had arrested him.
Soon after the interview, his campaign Facebook page and website were no longer available.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Wichita Eagle
Price has not been charged in connection with the arrest. Sedgwick County District Attorney spokesman Dan Dillon said police had not turned over the case to prosecutors. Wichita police spokesman Charley Davidson said the case is still under investigation.
Price, 47, has a criminal record and has run for office in the past. His May 17 arrest in east Wichita has not been previously reported.
Police records show someone reported Price to Wichita police on May 17, saying he was a felon in possession of a firearm. When police arrived at 1727 South 127th Street East, he was arrested.
After his arrest, he was booked into Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of possession of a firearm by a felon, suspicion of possession of marijuana and other drug offenses. A booking mug shows Price.
Sedgwick County property records list Price as the owner of 1727 South 127th Street East. Price also listed the address on campaign documents during a 2014 House campaign.
Price said he didn’t have an explanation when asked about the records.
“My problem is I’m getting a lot of cross-reference stuff from other people and I don’t know what to say anymore. I’m completely in the dark on some stuff – I don’t know enough about all this political stuff and all the stuff that goes on on the back side of things to understand what is really going on here,” Price said.
A few minutes later, he refused to answer directly whether he denied having been arrested.
“At this point, I’m flabbergasted, dude. I don’t even know what to say anymore. I’m really at a loss. I am just at a loss. I don’t even know what to say anymore,” Price said.
Price is running in state House District 86. The house on 127th Street East is not in the district. Price has listed a house in the 500 block of South Erie as his address on campaign documents, the same address he gave for a 2016 Senate campaign. His voter registration also lists the South Erie address.
Price was previously convicted for participating in a 1990 gas station robbery and for interfering with law enforcement officers investigating a small marijuana growing operation in 2012, according to court records. Price has also had unpaid debts and bad checks related to a failed construction business.
He has previously said the robbery happened when he was 18 and was committed by two hitchhikers he picked up. He has also said he was unaware of his son’s marijuana-growing operation until he came home from a trip and found police at his house.
Price is the third Kansas House candidate this year to face accusations of impropriety. The Department for Children and Families disclosed it had investigated Wichita candidate Michael Capps over allegations of emotional abuse. Prosecutors charged Johnson County candidate Adam Thomas with election fraud.
On Tuesday, Price voiced regret at having entered the race and said this would be his last time running for office.
“So I guess at the end of the day I’m exasperated. I’m tired,” Price said. “Why do I keep trying if everything keeps getting turned around?”