UPDATE: Ken Aden withdraws from race for Congress
A Congressional hopeful is dropping out of the District 3 race amidst questions about his military record.
Democrat Ken Aden made the announcement Monday AFternoon. The Arkansas Democratic Party says this means they will not field a challenger to freshman Congressman Steve Womack this fall, although he still faces challengers from the Green and Libertarian parties.
The situation has turned into a true political quagmire for Aden. The Russellville resident and former soldier repeatedly referred to himself as a Green Beret. However, multiple media outlets - including military websites - discovered that Aden never served in a special forces unit and was never a Green Beret.
Aden called his prior characterizations "misstatements" saying that he did actually achieve special forces "18B" status, providing documentation you can see by clicking here he claims proves as much. Critics still call those "misstatements" bold faced lies, with media outlets claiming while he tried numerous times to become a Green Beret, he never passed the test.
What is not in question is that Aden did serve in the Army for more than a decade but this discrepancy has cost him any shot at representing Arkansas as a Congressman. In an e-mailed statement, he wrote, "Unfortunately, the ongoing sage related to my military records has created a tremendous distraction for our campaign. I sincerely regret any difficulty that this situation has caused my fellow Democrats, my supporters and staff."
Candace Martin, spokesperson for the Arkansas Democratic Party, says Aden's Congressional run was a story that started with hope and ended with disappointment.
Aden did not return our phone calls seeking comment.
This is not the first time the Aden campaign has been brought into the spotlight because of something other than the candidate's platform. In January, Aden's campaign manager found his family cat slaughtered.
Jacob Burris said the cat was dead on the porch of his Russellville home with the word "liberal" painted on its carcass. You can read the entire story by clicking here.