- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 14, 2018

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A candidate for the state Senate and her husband have been accused of illegally receiving food stamps.

A charging document filed by the state says Rebecca Halat and her husband, Jarek Halat, did not disclose several bank accounts and did not report his employment with a ride-hailing service.

Rebecca Halat is running against state Rep. Chris Birch in next week’s Republican primary for a state Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Kevin Meyer of Anchorage.

The charging document says she and her husband exceeded the resource limit for food stamps when they received benefits this year. The couple, who have two children, received about $4,700 in food stamps this year, according to the monthly benefit information provided in the document.

The Halats each face a felony charge of second-degree theft and a misdemeanor charge of submitting a false statement. Rebecca Halat’s arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 24.

In an emailed statement, she said the last year has been hard on her family. Her husband was laid off from his job at AT&T, and the family lost its health insurance, she said.

Halat said “false allegations from those trying to steal this election” do not scare her and said she looks forward to answering the allegations “in the proper venue.”

Since becoming a candidate, she said people have learned a lot about her. “But there’s a lot more they have to learn if they think that I’m going to just curl up in a ball and let someone else represent me and my district through attacking my family,” Halat said.

On her campaign website, she calls for repealing a criminal justice overhaul that critics say was too soft on crime and for reducing the state budget. She also cites her experience in business.

Attorney Robert Herz, who is representing Jarek Halat, said his client “intends to defend against the charges and will be pleading not guilty when the time comes.”

Herz said he does not represent Rebecca Halat or the campaign. The state’s online court records system did not show an attorney for Rebecca Halat.

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