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Feds flag McSally for excessive campaign donations

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, who is the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, speaks to supporters of President Trump at a rally in Mesa on Oct. 19, 2018.

Senator Martha McSally.

Arizona Sen. Martha McSally, whose fundraising practices have drawn scrutiny in the past, appears to have accepted more than $270,000 in excessive campaign contributions during the recent midterm campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Federal candidates can collect $2,700 from a single donor during a primary election, followed by an additional $2,700 from the same person during the general election.

But the federal agency flagged dozens of contributions to McSally from more than 60 contributors that appear to exceed those limits, including one who cut a $10,000 check during the general election alone, according to an analysis of FEC records. The agency said in a letter on Monday that McSally has until early March to correct any record-keeping issues or refund the money.

While many campaigns regularly cut refund checks when contributors give too much, a spokesman for McSally said she can’t control how much her supporters give. He said that her campaign is reviewing the matter and will either correct any bookkeeping issues or issue refunds.

“The McSally campaign has continued to follow the mandated guidelines of the FEC,” said spokesman Anthony Barry.

McSally lost in November after voters in red state Arizona elected Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema following a hard-fought — and costly — race. However, Gov. Doug Ducey appointed her to the Senate in December to finish the remainder of deceased Sen. John McCain’s term.

This isn’t the first time McSally has drawn attention for her fundraising and record-keeping. An audit by the FEC that was released last year found that the former congresswoman’s 2014 campaign accepted $319,000 in excessive contributions.

The agency found that her campaign had sloppy record-keeping, with account balances that were repeatedly overstated or understated. The audit also found that she failed to disclose required contributor information and did not report late-in-the campaign donations within the required amount of time.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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