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U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly, who represents Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District, received “excessive contributions” totaling $75,100 when he first captured the north Mississippi House seat in 2015.
The Federal Election Commission found that Kelly, a Republican and former district attorney from Tupelo:
• Received campaign contributions from four individuals totaling $25,200 that exceeded the limit of $2,700 that a person can donate during an election cycle.
• Received a loan of $50,000 — $49,900 of which exceeded the campaign limits because they were guaranteed by an individual other than the candidate, thus, they were considered contributions.
The issues, according to the FEC audit, were resolved during the investigation with the loan being repaid and contributions returned.
The commission rejected a finding by the staff that the $50,000 loan be considered a prohibited contribution, which is considered a more serious charge.
The issues arose during a field audit of the 2015 special election where Kelly was one of 13 candidates vying to replace Alan Nunnelee, a Tupelo Republican who died in office earlier that year.
This election cycle Kelly faces Democrat Randy Mack Wadkins, originally of Iuka, who is a chemistry instructor at the University of Mississippi, and Reform Party candidate Tracella Lou O’Hara in the November general election.
The 1st District includes the population centers of DeSoto and Lee counties as well at the University of Mississippi in Lafayette County.