The Arkansas Times reports that billionaire Jim Walton, Wal-Mart board director and primary shareholder with Arvest Bank, has asked for and received a return of his $500 contribution from Rep. Loy Mauch (R-Bismarck).

Mauch has been at the center of controversy, along with two other GOP candidates, for letters to the editor to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette he wrote over several years in support of slavery and condemning Pres. Abraham Lincoln.

“If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?” Mauch wrote in a 2009 letter.

In another letter written in 2007, Mauch said, “I would like to thank this newspaper’s editorialist for publishing the tribute to Abraham Lincoln as well as his second inaugural address so that the readers can see for themselves what a fake this neurotic Northern war criminal truly was.”

The Times reports that Walton wrote a letter on Oct. 22 to Mauch requesting a return of his contribution.

“Since making the contribution, however, I have learned about some of your views on other issues with which I disagree,” Walton wrote. Mauch reportedly returned the $500 contribution.

Also, Talk Business blogger Jason Tolbert reports on comments made by Arkansas Republican Party chairman Doyle Webb regarding the controversial writings of Mauch and two other GOP candidates, Rep. Jon Hubbard (R-Jonesboro) and legislative candidate Charles Fuqua (R-Batesville).

Hubbard has written that slavery was “a blessing in disguise” for blacks and suggested that they have not made the most of educational opportunities. Fuqua has written that all Muslims should be expelled from the U.S. and said a law should be passed to allow for the execution of “rebellious” children.

On KARN’s Dave Elswick show, Webb stopped short again of a full-blown condemnation of their statements and he did not call for their resignations of candidacy.

“They have said some things that are not the position of the Republican Party of Arkansas, but we believe in the freedom of conscience and the freedom of speech. And if they are successful, then we wish them good luck,” Webb said.

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