Inmate’s U.S. Senate campaign is suspended; $250k in contributions will be returned

A Closer Look

FEC: More than $1 million filed in contributions

Jason Smith. Photo used with permission from Michael Anderson.

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The 2032 U.S. Senate campaign of a Tennessee man, who is a prison inmate, has been suspended until mid-May, according to Campaign Manager Lindsey Owens.

Jason Smith, 37, filed his campaign with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in mid-March 2021.

In an email to KNWA/FOX24 on Thursday, April 22, Owens said religion is the reason for the suspension. “Mr. Smith has converted to the Muslim religion and Christian donors have expressed that they will not support this campaign unless Mr. Smith publicly denies those allegations. As of today, Mr. Smith has instructed his staff that he will not denounce being a Muslim, and will continue the race as a devout Muslim.”

Smith holds no ill feelings toward those Christians who want to withdraw their support. He will stand by being 100% Muslim, according to Owens speaking on Smith’s behalf.

The campaign has refunded close to $20,000 of $250,000, according to Owens.

Smith’s committee has filed more than $1 million in contributions, and $18,000 in expenses, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) website. “By FEC bylaw, they are required to list their contributions and we were ablt to contact and verify those contributions,” according to an FEC source.

As for the refunds, the campaign is not required to do so, according to FEC bylaws.

Smith, 37, is at USP Atlanta, Georgia federal penitentiary for check fraud. He’s serving a 10-year sentence and is expected to be released in February 2028.

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