Topeka — State ethics officials have ruled that an unsuccessful female candidate cannot accept a $159 wig as an in-kind campaign contribution.
The information indicates the candidate was Joan Heffington, who was defeated by U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback in the Republican Party primary for governor.
A wig, like clothing, is for personal use and cannot be paid for through a donation, the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission said.
The commission made the ruling without mentioning Heffington's name. A letter from the candidate to the commission's executive director Carol Williams omitted any name.
But the letter focused on the wig and mentioned its price, which corresponded to information on a campaign finance report by Heffington.
The letter explained about purchasing a wig on the campaign trail. "After I commented that I didn't know if I could afford the wig I had tried on," the store owner offered to donate it, saying that the candidate needed to "be looking good all the time," the letter said.
"I accepted and believed this was an in-kind donation that should be listed on our campaign finance report," the letter said.
Ethics commissioners said there would be no way to tell if the wig would be used only during campaigning or also worn during personal, non-campaigning time.
Williams said the candidate must reimburse the campaign for the cost of the wig.
Heffington, who campaigned on overhauling the legal system and requiring that new laws have a biblical reason to exist, is now running as an independent write-in candidate in the general election.
Attempts by the Lawrence Journal-World to reach Heffington have been unsuccessful.