A candidate for the Texas house has rejected calls to withdraw from the race after photos of him in women's clothing began circulating.
Sam Walls, 64, said he will not give in to "blackmail" from opponents who are trying to use "very old personal information" to force him out of the race. "Now my opponent is using the private information in an attempt to intimate that I am a homosexual, which I am not," Walls said in a statement Monday.
Walls, a Republican, is competing in an April 13 primary runoff against real estate broker Rob Orr. Orr political consultant Lee Woods has denied involvement in the circulation of the photos. He said Orr's campaign staff learned of the photos and alerted Republican leaders.
As a leading businessman and former party chairman, Walls once seemed the favorite to win. But GOP leaders urged him to withdraw when the pictures surfaced last week in two communities near Fort Worth. The photos were apparently obtained by a company that repossessed a mobile home registered to Walls, according to court records. He said his family had "dealt with" the issue, and he apologized to
supporters for any embarrassment caused by "a small part of my personal past."