Marlin Stutzman repays campaign funds for family's California trip

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on Indiana Senate candidate Marlin Stutzman’s travel expenses (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

A spokesman for U.S. Senate candidate Marlin Stutzman says the Republican Indiana congressman repaid his campaign fund last week for expenses covering a family trip to California last summer.

Campaign manager Josh Kelley tells the Associated Press an attorney told Stutzman at the time of the trip that charging over $3,000 to the campaign account for airfare and a van rental was acceptable because the family attended a number of political functions.

Kelley says Stutzman reimbursed his campaign fund last week after The Associated Press asked questions about the trip. The trip included a visit to the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, and Stutzman’s wife described it on her Facebook page as a “family vacation.”

Federal Election Commission guidelines forbid using campaign funds for personal expenses.

Stutzman is a tea party-backed congressman first elected in 2010.

2:50 p.m.

Marlin Stutzman’s Senate campaign says the Indiana congressman was conducting political work during a family trip to California that was billed in part to the campaign.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Republican’s campaign paid more than $2,000 in airfare for the family’s four tickets to Los Angeles. The AP also found a hotel stay and van rental were charged to the fund during the August trip, which included a visit to the Ronald Reagan presidential l

Campaign manager Josh Kelley called the allegations unfair but declined to elaborate on what political work was done. Stutzman’s wife characterized the trip in a caption on Facebook as a “family vacation.”

11:40 a.m.

A Republican congressman running for Senate in Indiana billed his campaign more than $2,000 in airfare for his family’s trip to the Ronald Reagan library in California, an apparent violation of federal election laws.

The expense is part of hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel expenses, meals and vehicle payments U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman has charged to his campaign fund since 2010.

Federal Election Commission guidelines forbid the use of an official campaign fund for personal expenses.

Stutzman was first elected to Congress amid a wave of tea party insurgency in 2010. He has regularly found himself at odds with members of the GOP establishment and says he was sent to Congress to rein in spending.

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