Tennessee election panel won't pursue Harwell complaint

Friday, May 11, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 19

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee panel has voted not to pursue campaign finance complaints that question House Speaker Beth Harwell's help from a political committee and a $3.1 million self-loan to her Republican gubernatorial campaign.

According to The Tennessean , the Registry of Election Finance voted 3-0 Monday to take no action on three complaints against Harwell, with one member abstaining. The board initially voted 2-2 on a slightly different motion to dismiss the complaints.

Two complaints claim Harwell's political committee helped her campaign beyond legal limits by running a TV ad, sending a mailer and running a website.

A third complaint questions whether Harwell can financially back a $3.1 million self-loan.

Austin McMullen, attorney for Harwell's campaign and political committee, repeated his argument that the ads didn't expressly advocate for Harwell's gubernatorial bid.