Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Aftab Pureval will appear before the Ohio Election Commission five days before his election on charges he improperly used local campaign funds for his federal race.
On Nov. 1, Pureval will "face the consequences of his mistake," according to Republican National Committee spokesperson Mandi Merritt.
"For a candidate whose name means ‘Sunshine,' Aftab Pureval has desperately been trying to keep Ohioans in the dark," Merritt said in a statement. "Now with a final hearing scheduled for November 1st, Aftab Pureval will have to face the consequences of his mistakes – just in time for Election Day."
Pureval, the Hamilton County clerk of courts, spent $30,000 from his country clerk campaign account in the early months of 2018 despite not being up for election in that role until 2020. He is, however, running to unseat Rep. Steve Chabot (R., Ohio) this November.
Campaign finance regulations require the the spending be kept separate because in the case of Pureval's federal race, donations are capped at $5,400. In his county race, there are no donation limits.
Among the payments from the county clerk's office account is one made five days after Pureval announced his congressional run. The county clerk's office cut a check for $360 to a photographer who photographed his campaign launch.
When The Cincinnati Enquirer broke the story, Pureval's congressional campaign manager said "All of these expenditures were appropriate and legal. Any insinuation otherwise is simply wrong."
The candidate's attorney attempted to have the claims made against him before the Ohio Election Commission dismissed, but on Thursday, the commission denied that motion.
The commission will meet again on Nov. 1 to determine the merits of the complaint and whether Pureval used county clerk campaign money for personal use, including for his congressional campaign.
Ohioans will go to the polls on Nov. 6 where Pureval, who has been endorsed by President Barack Obama, and Chabot will be on the ballot.