Memphis City council candidate arrested for pulling gun outside polling station, police say

A candidate running for a city council seat in Memphis, Tennessee, was arrested Wednesday for pulling a gun at a Memphis polling station.

Memphis police arrested and charged Thurston Smith with aggravated assault, a felony. The arrest comes one week before Election Day.

Smith posted a $5,000 bond later Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Shelby County Election Commission told WHBQ the race for District 7 will go on and Thurston Smith's name will remain on the ballot. Police told WHBQ this incident started as an argument over money between Smith and one of his former campaign workers, Anthony Johnson.

“Something like this didn’t have to go that far you know,” Johnson told the television station.

Johnson said Smith owes him $2,500, but he hasn’t been paid in months. He said that’s why he approached Smith at the polls last Sept. 16. After the argument, Johnson said Smith pulled the gun on him as Smith was leaving the polling place.

"If you're walking away from a situation, you don't turn around and then bring a pistol out. You know, it don't make sense," said Johnson told WHBQ.

City council attorney Allan Wade told WHBQ if Smith is elected and convicted of the felony, he will have to resign from the city council.

Smith has declined comment.

Johnson said he is pursuing legal action soon.

"The bottom line is he owes me, you know," Johnson told WHBQ. "And that's what the conversation was about that day. I was telling him, I was going to file legal action against him, and I was going to go all the way with it, and he got mad."

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