**WARNING: Graphic detail included in this article.
With just 3 weeks from the general election, a candidate’s race for Maricopa County Community College Governing Board is over.
Randy Kaufman, Republican candidate running for the Maricopa County Community College Governing Board suspended his campaign Tuesday after he was arrested for sexual indecency.
According to a police report by the Maricopa County Community College Police, Kaufman was sitting in his parked Ford F-150 pickup truck in the parking lot of Rio Salado College in Surprise on Oct. 4 around 4:40 p.m.
A Maricopa County Community College District police officer saw that the truck was parked in the community college district’s Rio Salado Lifelong Learning Center, covering three parking spaces and drove over to the area to see why the car was parked that way.
The report details that the officer parked approximately about 20 feet away from the truck’s passenger side and walked up to the truck where he witnessed a man with his pants pulled down mid-thigh. He was holding his cell phone with one hand and masturbating with the other hand.
The arresting officer reported that he saw a person bicycling just eight feet away from the scene and preschool children playing outdoors at a nearby childcare center.
According to the report, Kaufman told the officer he was watching pornographic material and was “just really stressed out.” Kaufman then told police “I f—ed up.”
The case has been referred to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for a charging decision. Kaufman could face a possible felony charge because of his proximity to a childcare center.
Kaufman was set to face Democrat and state Rep. Kelli Butler for an at-large seat on the board in the Nov. 8 general election.
Kaufman released a statement on Tuesday announcing that he was suspending his campaign for the governing board due to a “personal legal matter.”
“I am sincerely grateful for the supporters and friends I have gathered throughout the campaign,” Kaufman said. “I will never stop fighting to protect the United States Constitution and the values that make America the greatest country in the world.”
The Maricopa County Elections Department has not yet received an official Statement of Withdrawal from Kaufman. Without the signed and notarized document, he is still an active candidate. With early voting underway, it is too late to remove his name off the ballot.
Kaufman worked as a corrections officer with the Arizona Department of Corrections for 27 years.