Arizona GOP candidate Randy Kaufman on Tuesday suspended his campaign after reports emerged of his arrest for allegedly masturbating in his vehicle as children near a preschool were playing.
According to 12News, Kaufman, a Trump supporter, was arrested on October 4 and charged with public sexual indecency. The suspect is vying for a seat on the Maricopa County Community College Governing Board on the ticket of the Republican Party.
A police report from the Maricopa County Community College Police stated that Kaufman was inside his truck when he was spotted masturbating. The vehicle was said to be parked on the premises of the Rio Salado Lifelong Learning Center in Surprise.
“(Kaufman) appeared to be looking at a cell phone in one hand. I immediately became alarmed as I saw (he) had his pants down mid-thigh…” the police report states.
The spot Kaufman was seen allegedly masturbating wasn’t also far from a preschool. The officer who arrested him said that he saw children from the childcare center playing outside.
“I f—ed up. I’m really stressed,” Kaufman explained to the officer.
The police report also stated that the arresting officer asked Kaufman if he was aware of his surroundings.
“When you look around here what do you see?” the officer asked. Kaufman replied saying, “The child center but I didn’t notice it until you came up and I got out of my truck. Are you going to put that in a report?”
“Don’t you see how alarming that is? That there are children nearby, people passing on bikes and In cars where they can look and see what you are doing?” the officer asked Kaufman.
Elsewhere in the conversation, Kaufman admitted he was watching porn when the officer asked him what was “going on with the phone.”
“What kind of porn were you watching?” the officer asked, per the report.
“Interracial porn,” Kaufman replied.
In a statement to 12News on Tuesday, Kaufman said he had put his campaign on hold as a result of a “personal legal matter.”
“I am sincerely grateful for the supporters and friends I have gathered throughout the campaign,” Kaufman added. “I will never stop fighting to protect the United States Constitution and the values that make America the greatest country in the world.”
Kaufman hasn’t sent an official Statement of Withdrawal to the Maricopa County Elections Department. And as it stands, officials will count his votes as he remains an active candidate. A department spokeswoman also explained that removing Kaufman’s name from the ballot would be impossible even if he submitted an official Statement of Withdrawal.
A Trump supporter, Kaufman’s Facebook page is said to contain posts that claim the 2020 election was rigged.
Authorities could bring a felony charge against Kaufman as he committed the alleged sexual offense near a childcare center.