An Arkansas representative has endorsed Rep. Duncan Baird in the Republican primary for treasurer, noting that Baird is "not an extortionist or blackmailer."
Rep. Nate Bell, R-Mena, posted the endorsement on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.
Baird, R-Lowell, is facing Dennis Milligan of Benton in the Republican primary. The race has drawn considerable attention in recent days after Baird produced recordings he secretly made that he said showed Milligan claimed to have damaging information and wanted Baird to get out of the race.
The information in question apparently included video of Baird and other lawmakers walking into the state Capitol in the middle of the night last month and being turned away from going onto the roof.
Bell's endorsement didn't mention the controversy directly, but it comes days after the saga made headlines, including a front page story in Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
"Today, I'm publicly endorsing Duncan Baird in the GOP primary for Arkansas State Treasurer," Bell wrote. "He's a CPA and securities professional with legislative experience and the personal integrity to manage Arkansas' investments honestly and efficiently. He's also not an extortionist or blackmailer and if he wants pie, I'm confident he'll buy it with his own money."
State Treasurer Martha Shoffner resigned in May three days after being arrested on a federal extortion charge. She is accused of accepting cash bribes from a bond broker, including some delivered in a pie box.