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Political hopeful Lodmell arrested

By By Adam Prestridge
Democrat Benjamin "Big Ben" Lodmell, 36, who is vying for U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner's congressional seat, was arrested last week in Baldwin County after agreeing to pay for sex.
According to reports in the "Mobile Press-Register", Lodmell allegedly agreed to pay an undercover female police officer $100 on the evening of Jan. 31 in exchange for sex. Lodmell was arrested near the Eastern Shore and booked at the Baldwin County Corrections Center in Bay Minette shortly after 8 p.m. and was released on a $5,000 bond about an hour later.
Lodmell was charged with soliciting a prostitute, a misdemeanor, according to jail records.
Repeated attempts by the Advance to contact Lodmell proved unsuccessful. His cell phone was disconnected and he did not respond to emails.
Bonner currently represents the First Congressional District, which includes Atmore. Lodmell has already visited Atmore twice campaigning for the seat in the upcoming election, once at Williams Station Day in October and another at a meet and greet in December at Royal Oaks Bed and Breakfast.
During his meet and greet, Lodmell, a married father of two, said his campaign will be "old fashion" in the sense that he plans to go door-to-door earning people's votes. A first-time candidate, Lodmell has declared himself a Democrat, but his candidacy won't be official until he files with the party after its qualifying period opens March 1, which may pose as a problem. According to published reports, Lodmell may receive some backlash from the Democratic Party following his arrest including a challenge to have his name removed from the party's ticket should he be found guilty.
Lodmell is a lifelong Democrat raised in Alabama and schooled in Huntsville. He currently resides in Mobile and attends the Baptist church with his wife and children.
Lodmell earned his bachelor's degree in economics international relations from Connecticut College and his master's degree in national security studies from Fletcher School at Tufts University.