Jul 10, 2015 9:57 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
CONCORD – Despite a damaging campaign finance scandal, Rep. Frank Guinta tells NH1 News that “nothing has changed” when it comes to running for re-election next year.
The embattled Republican lawmaker in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District spoke with NH1 News on Friday afternoon, one day before town hall in Alton.
This is Guinta’s ninth town hall since returning to Congress in January. But it’s his first since May, when the Federal Election Commission fined Guinta $15,000 and ordered he repay his 2010 campaign $355,000 he received from an account under his parents’ financial control.
The town hall, which will be held at 10:30am at the Gilman Library in Alton, was first reported by NH1 News.
In recent weeks Guinta has sent supporters two fundraising emails. Asked about his re-election bid, Guinta said “that political stuff kind of takes care of itself. I’m focused on doing my job and nothing has changed on my end.”
As for when he would announce his re-election bid, Guinta said “that wouldn’t be until next year, which is the typical standard time when I would do something like that.”
Guinta used the money in the 2010 cycle to win a hard fought multi-candidate GOP primary, and then to defeat Democratic incumbent Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the general election for the state's 1st Congressional District. In a report made public, the FEC declared the donation excessive and illegal, fining Guinta $15,000 and ordering him to repay the entire donation.
The loan was an issue in the 2010 general election, in the 2012 rematch Shea-Porter won, and in the 2014 three-peat, when Guinta was victorious.
Guinta has insisted he did nothing wrong and that the money in his parent’s account was his, recently showing NH1 News and other news organizations financial documents that he said proved the funds belonged to him.
Some top Granite State Republicans, including Sen. Kelly Ayotte, state Senate President Chuck Morse, state House Speaker Shawn Jasper, and Executive Councilor Chris Sununu called on Guinta to resign after the agreement between Guinta and the FEC was made public.
And New Hampshire GOP Chair Jennifer Horn wrote a letter to the state party’s executive committee saying that that Guinta “has clearly been untruthful.”
Guinta has repeatedly said he’s not resigning, adding that “I am committed to my job.” And in the past couple of weeks he’s begun sending out fundraising emails for a possible re-election bid. Guinta could face multiple primary challenges if he runs for re-election next year. Both 2014 Republican congressional candidate Dan Innis, who narrowly lost to Guinta in the September’s GOP primary, and former deputy state House Speaker Pam Tucker are weighing runs.
Saturday, at his town hall, Guinta will introduce a new way for his constituents to get in touch with his office.
“I’m announcing my We the People initiative, an opportunity for my constituents to reach out to me 24-7, either call or text me at 250-6850, or email me at email@example.com. The purpose of this is to try to turn solutions and ideas from New Hampshire and New Hampshire residents into solutions for Washington, Guinta sais.
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