State Rep. Laura Thompson, the first independent to win a seat in the Texas Legislature in more than 50 years, was arrested Thursday on a charge of assault on a family member, according to Bexar County Jail online records.
Thompson’s arrest records, first reported by the San Antonio Express-News, show she was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for assault and bodily injury on a family member. Lisa Jackson, spokesperson for Thompson’s campaign, said the charges are from 2012 and that she does not know who filed them.
“Rep. Thompson was made aware yesterday that there was a warrant for her arrest, and because she is a law-abiding citizen and has always been a law-abiding citizen she immediately went down and turned herself in,” Jackson said. “In the state of Texas anyone can swear out a warrant, anyone can make an allegation.”
Jackson called the charges from four years ago “suspicious,” especially since the the warrant came to light less than three weeks before Election Day.
“Thompson is leading in the polls for re-election and is a leader in the community, so this is suspicious,” Jackson said.
Thompson won the race for House District 120 in an August special election after Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon resigned in January. Thompson is set to serve until January, and a permanent replacement for McClendon will be elected on Nov. 8.
Thompson now faces Barbara Gervin Hawkins, a Democrat, in the November race.
After she won the race in August, Thompson said serving as an independent would let her focus on issues and make decisions in the best interest of people rather than a political party.
“Some of the comments I received on Facebook and through texts are that it’s kind of liberating to see somebody go out on a limb as an independent and then win,” Thompson said in August. “I think running as an independent and being able to win shows people that they can have more than two options, or two or three options.”
Thompson was released on bond shortly after her arrest.
This article was published in The Texas Tribune Oct. 21, 2016.