Lodmell makes arrest remarks

Published 8:27 pm Monday, February 11, 2008

By By Adam Prestridge
Democrat Benjamin “Big Ben” Lodmell, 36, spoke out briefly regarding his recent arrest in Baldwin County after allegedly agreeing to pay for sex.
Following numerous phone calls and emails, Lodmell, who is vying for U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner’s congressional seat in the upcoming general election in November, issued a brief statement.
In his statement, Lodmell requested that any further “inquiries” pertaining to his arrest be referred his attorney, Dennis Kinzley.
According to published reports, 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.
A spokesperson with Lodmell’s campaign also referred the request for comment to the politician’s YouTube site www.youtube.com/benlodmell. Lodmell has numerous videos on the site from campaigning in Mobile to a videoed response on Super Tuesday to his arrest.
“I am just one man, I’m standing up in this room and I’m doing it with no fear, but I am not going anywhere unless you carry me,” Lodmell said during an interview with WLVV, which was posted on his YouTube site. “For 45 years this seat has been controlled by a very small group of people and there’s a chance to change that. There are lots of forces that will be pushing against me, but I believe in the end and the people. But the people also cannot be apathetic, if you want change, you have to support your leaders, especially in their times of need. That is the most important thing I have to say, which is what I really want to stress, that I am asking for the support and the momentum of the popular people in bringing this candidacy forward.”
Lodmell added that once his court date is over he would be “free to speak freely.”
Bonner currently represents the First Congressional District, which includes Atmore. As reported earlier, 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 would 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.

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