Walsh’s ex-wife filed court documents in December alleging he owes her $117,000 in unpaid child support for their three children. Walsh’s attorney called the claim “unfounded,” and on Thursday Walsh said that “virtually everything” in the article by the Chicago Sun-Times on the lawsuit in July was “wildly and off-the-charts inaccurate.”

Speaking at the town-hall meeting, Walsh promised to clear his name. “When I go to my grave a year or 10 or 100 from now, there’s only one thing I want on my tombstone: ‘He tried to be a hell of a dad,’ ” he said.

Walsh said he would fight back both “privately and legally” to refute the accusations.

The allegations will likely be a factor in Walsh’s reelection campaign. However, Walsh said he would come home from Washington happily as long as he stuck to his guns while he was in office. “I don’t care about my next election,” he said. “I’m [in office] to do good. I’m there to stop what this president’s doing.”