Jackson County commissioner drops out of state house race following domestic violence arrest

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — He’s a Jackson County commissioner, who wanted to be a state lawmaker.

But now, Carl Rice is under fire after being arrested for domestic violence.

Rice is well known in the Jackson community as a county commissioner who represents Leoni and Summit townships.

And now, he’s dropping out of a state house race, and could face an assault charge following a weekend incident at his home.

Late Saturday night, officers from the Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety were called to a home in Leoni Township.

The department says officers arrested one person for domestic violence.

Wednesday, Carl Rice, a commissioner who represents district three on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, identified himself as the person placed in handcuffs.

Rice spoke with 6 News over the phone.

He says it was an incident fueled by stress and alcohol.

The commissioner says a verbal argument with his adult son turned physical and police were called.

Rice spent more than 24 hours in jail and was released Monday.

As of Wednesday night, he hasn’t been officially charged.

But the commissioner is possibly facing misdemeanor assault charges.

Wednesday, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jerry Jarzynka told 6 News that he’s asking the Michigan Attorney General’s Office for a prosecutor outside Jackson County to take on the case.

Jarzynka says it’s not appropriate for his office to prosecute a county official.

While he waits to hear what’s next, Rice deeply regrets what happened and says it doesn’t reflect who he is.

The commissioner recently announced he was running to be the republican candidate for the 65th State House District, an election that’s happening next year.

Rice says he’s trying to learn from what happened, and in attempts to reduce stress and prioritize his life, he’s dropping out of the race.

Rice says he’s staying on as a commissioner, and will continue to serve Jackson County.

The Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney says he hopes to hear from the Attorney General’s Office later this week about who is going to prosecute this case.

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JACKSON, Mich (WLNS) – A family argument escalated into a physical altercation and now a Jackson County commissioner is pulling out of the race for the 65th House seat.

Commissioner Carl Rice Jr tells 6 News that stress and alcohol fueled a verbal argument with his 36-year-old son that turned physical.

Family members called police and Rice was arrested and taken to jail early Sunday morning.

According to Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka, Rice is accused of simple assault, which is a misdemeanor.

He was released from jail Monday.

Today Rice told 6 News that he regrets what happened and “it doesn’t reflect on who he is.”

He added that in an effort to reduce stress in his life he will drop out of the race for the State House District 65.

Rice had recently announced that he was a Republican candidate for that seat.

That election is in November 2018.

Rice plans to stay on as a Jackson County commissioner.

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