Campaign funding complaint against Arizona Congress nominee dismissed
PHOENIX — An allegation of inappropriate campaign funding by an Arizona nominee for a seat in Congress was dismissed by officials on Thursday.
In an email, Republican nominee Debbie Lesko said she was cleared of wrongdoing by Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s office.
“The secretary of state finds no reasonable cause to believe that Lesko for Senate violated Arizona campaign law and dismisses the complaint accordingly,” Arizona Elections Director Eric Spencer wrote in the email.
Lesko had been accused by two opponents, former state Sen. Steve Montengro and and former state Rep. Phil Lovas, of illegally transferring $50,000 from her state campaign committee for the primary contest.
“Sen. Lesko fully complied with Arizona campaign finance laws,” Lesko’s attorney, Kory Langhofer, said in the email.
“We knew the secretary of state would see this complaint for what it was: A last-minute campaign stunt to bring down a competitor.”
Montenegro faced a scandal of his own. He admitted last week that reports about the texts between him and a former Senate aide were true. He said he became too close to the woman and that while she sent an unsolicited topless photo, he “never had inappropriate relationship with her or anyone else.”
Lesko beat Lovas, Montenegro and several others in Tuesday’s special primary election to fill a U.S. House seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.).
She will face her Democratic opponent, Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, in the special general election on April 24.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.