Johnathan Masters admits he's not exactly the ideal running mate – he’s got a string of charges on his record, and pending court appearances on the calendar -- but he is absolutely puzzled by his latest arrest in Kenton County, Kentucky.
Apparently, he was told by police on Wednesday he failed to return a library book from 11 years ago.
“I am 100 percent not guilty,” the 33-year-old lieutenant governor candidate told FoxNews.com in an interview. “I don’t know what they are talking about. It could be anything.”
The Breckinridge County resident said he was driving to Bowling Green for a television interview when he was pulled over for an outdated car tax sticker.
When the police officer finished checking his record, he returned to the car asking about the library book. Masters laughed. The officer did not, and next thing he knew he was in the back of the cruiser and headed for jail.
He was booked for failure to pay his car tax, and for “failure to make required disposition of property.”
“I didn’t know there would be so much on the line by checking out a book,” Masters joked, insisting that, while he has been in a Kenton County library before, he doesn’t recall taking out a book, much less not returning it.
“I’m not a criminal, I’m not a bad guy,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s not serious, but they could have used some discretion.”
FoxNews.com could not confirm the charges with the Kenton County Courthouse, which had already closed for the day. Masters says his next appearance in court over the matter is at the end of the month.
Masters is running with long-shot Democratic candidate Geoff Young for the open governor’s seat. Currently, the race seems to be zeroing in on Hal Heiner, who is leading the Republican primary race, and Attorney General Jack Conway, who's ahead in the Democratic field, according to the latest Bluegrass Poll.
But Masters’ own record hasn’t exactly helped to burnish Young’s ticket. He is facing charges in Jefferson County for harassing an associate dean at Spalding University, where Masters was an education student. He also has charges pending in a separate case in which he is accused of screaming at a school principal in Breckinridge County. He pled guilty to menacing in 2012, after a tussle with police.
He said the school incidents stem from a conflict of ideas and approaches and feeling the school didn’t back him when he was allegedly harassed by an instructor. Masters, a campaign coordinator, considers himself an activist. “I have been frustrated with the system for a long time.”
When asked how he could possibly stay on the gubernatorial ticket under these circumstances, he said, “frankly, this is Kentucky where up is down and left is right. We’re working class folks. I’m an average working class man and I’ve had struggles. I know it’s not a picture perfect ideal. It’s not Camelot.”
According to the Courier-Journal, under state law, Young cannot replace Masters without dropping out himself. When asked about Masters' run-ins with the law, Young said, "I stand behind him."