20-year-old Maurice Imhoff announced on Facebook he is suspending his campaign. The democratic candidate for the 46th district house seat has been plagued with allegations being dredged up from his past, including a threat to shoot up a middle school more than five years ago as well as accusations of abusive and predatory behavior from multiple teenage girls.
In his letter, Imhoff writes that he has been “suspended, arrested and convicted of things of which I’m not proud” but does not detail what they are.
Imhoff had been endorsed by top democrats, including the governor, who pulled their support.
Despite suspending his campaign, Imhoff will still appear on the November ballot because the ballots have already been printed.
He was set to face Republican challenger Kathy Schmaltz, a former WILX TV anchor.
Below is a statement posted on Facebook on Wednesday from Imhoff’s campaign.
“Family, Friends and Supporters,
I was raised by my single mother in poverty and my upbringing came with many challenges. I made poor decisions and got into a fair amount of trouble. I’ve been suspended, arrested and convicted of things of which I am not proud. I was another black teenager headed towards dropping out of high school. I realized I needed to take responsibility, seek support programs, and make radical changes before I became another statistic.
Through Rise Above and other transformative local programs, I focused on reforming myself and the situations around me. I charged the crowds I was hanging out with and committed my time to positive projects across our community. A lot of people invested in my betterment, and I worked incredibly hard to become the first person in my family to graduate from high school.
I believe that Rise Above and the other work I’ve pursued has helped me to transform into a responsible adult. I’ve served on city boards and commissions because this community pulled me out of a dark period in my life, and because of that, I’ve tried to give back to it.
I launched this campaign for State Representative to further that work and build opportunity for others - especially to help those that looked like a younger me.
Who I was is not who I am today, but I find myself confronting it on this campaign. Over the last week, I’ve don’t a lot of would searching, speaking with family, friends and supports of my campaign. I have decided to end my campaign and give my resources to organizations like Rise Above and other groups that can help support policies that expand transformative programs for people that look like me.
This decision did not come lightly, and I cannot express the amount of appreciation I have for those who have helped me to change, grow and heal. I hope to continue to give back to Jackson in the future because this community made me who I am today.”Maurice Imhoff, Oct. 5, 2022