IN Focus: Panelists discuss campaign fundraising surprises

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 19, 2015) – Glenda Ritz, Democratic candidate for Governor, is answering questions about potentially questionable donations made to her campaign.

More than $8,000 through 28 donations was accepted during the 2015 General Assembly session. State law which requires candidates to not raise funds or accept campaign donations while the legislature meets.

Ritz though told reporters Friday the donations were filed inaccurately.

“We did absolutely no fundraising during the blackout period and I think we have all of the data and evidence to support that,” she said.

Ritz insisted Monday her campaign did not violate Indiana election law.

“The contributions that were given were before the period but I think what we have here is maybe a deposit date was given instead of the date of when the checks were actually issued,” she said.

The donations are questionable because they were accepted during the 2015 legislative session, according to state election documents. This would be a violation according to State law.

Ritz explained her treasurer made an error on the forms that were submitted, and that they’ll be resubmitted with accurate dates.

“I just know that there are clerical errors and that we’re going to make an amendment,” she said.

Public election documents show from January through February of 2015, Ritz accepted 28 donations, totaling more than $8,000.

“The bigger story for Glenda Ritz is she’s not raising very much money,” said IndyStar political columnist, Tim Swarens.

Swarens doesn’t think Ritz will scrap her campaign because of the questionable donations. He says rather, her campaign is in trouble for not raising nearly enough money; $30,000 since January. A sliver of the $1.7 million raised by her fellow democratic candidate John Gregg, and a fraction of the $1.6 million raised by her republican rival, Governor Mike Pence.

“This problem adds to the skepticism in her own party. We’re not talking about republicans being skeptical, there’s a lot of skepticism on the democratic side, this is a distraction she certainly did not need,” said Swarens.

If Ritz faces punishment for violating election law, she could have to pay a hefty fine.