Paul Davis campaign pulls TV ad featuring actor with prostitution arrest

A screen shot of the ad featuring Jeff Montague, left, and Paul Davis.
A screen shot of the ad featuring Jeff Montague, left, and Paul Davis. Courtesy photo

An actor who appeared in a campaign ad for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis was arrested on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute and was once suspended from a position at a Topeka high school for inappropriate behavior with a student, according to documents released by the Kansas Republican Party.

The Davis campaign launched an ad on its website and on television Wednesday intended to address negative advertising by Republican groups. By midafternoon, the video had been taken down.

“We produced a series of ads. Today, it was brought to our attention that a participant in one of those ads has serious issues in his background,” Davis said in a statement. “Upon hearing of these issues, the ad, which ran for a few hours, was pulled down immediately. I want to apologize to Kansans for this mistake.”

The Republican Party released documents that show Jeff Montague, an actor in the ad, had been banned from the Boy Scouts of America in 1989 after the organization learned that he had been suspended from a teaching position at Topeka Seaman High School “for inappropriate conduct with a male foreign exchange student.”

The Boy Scouts got this information from a volunteer at the school. The records show that the school would make no further statement on the allegation other than that Montague had gone on medical leave.

The GOP also released a document from Topeka’s municipal court that showed Montague was arrested on suspicion of “solicitation of sodomy” in October 2007. It included a mugshot of the actor. Records show the actor signed a diversion agreement in the case and paid a $150 fee plus court costs.

“Associating a campaign with someone of this background raises doubts about Paul Davis’ fitness for office,” Clay Barker, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said in a statement.

John Milburn, spokesman for Gov. Sam Brownback, called the ad “disgusting.”

Reach Bryan Lowry at 785-296-3006 or blowry@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BryanLowry3.