Paper publishes Senate candidate's mugshot

A Texas newspaper on Tuesday published what it said is a mugshot of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) after an arrest in 1977.

The congressman, who is waging a primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), has denied ever being charged with a felony despite reportedly making statements to the contrary earlier in his political career.

His campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

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The Dallas Morning News said it published the photo and police report from Stockman’s Oct. 5, 1977, arrest for possession of a controlled substance. It comes in response to Stockman’s libel suit against an outside group that is supporting Cornyn in next month’s GOP primary. (The mugshot, credited to the Texas Tribune, can be viewed here).

The group, Texans for a Conservative Majority, set up a website questioning Stockman’s finances, ethics and criminal background.

The website cites a Washington Post article reporting Stockman has been arrested a number of times and charged with “a felony after one such incident when authorities found Valium in his pants.”

Stockman sued the group and told The Dallas Morning News late last month he has never been charged with a felony.

“I have never been charged with or committed any such act, and these anonymous Cornyn supporters know it,” he said in a statement to the newspaper.

Stockman had publicly talked about his arrest during his first term in office in the 1990s. At the time, he said he had been arrested a number of times and “was charged with a felony” after one incident.

According to contemporary news reports, Stockman was arrested in 1977 at age 20 after police found three Valium pills in his pants when reporting to jail for traffic violations.

He was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, which was later reduced, according to the report.  

Stockman is facing long odds in the March primary against Cornyn. A poll conducted shortly after Stockman announced a bid in December showed him trailing by more than 40 percent, and he faces a massive fundraising deficit.

Last month, Stockman faced questions about missing a number of votes in the House. However, he subsequently said he was on an official travel trip overseas.