North Carolina congressional candidate charged with campaign violation signs plea deal
A Republican candidate for a 2020 congressional seat from western North Carolina has been charged by federal prosecutors with a campaign finance violation, and she signed a plea agreement, court records show.
Lynda Bennett is accused of willfully and knowingly accepting on behalf of her campaign $25,000 in 2019 contributions from a relative that were provided on behalf of another person, according to a criminal information filed Friday by department attorneys. American Justice.
Another document filed Monday by one of the federal prosecutors in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia requested a court hearing because Bennett “signed a plea agreement and a statement of offense.”
Federal law during the 2019-20 election cycle limited an individual’s campaign donation to a federal candidate to $2,800 per election, or $5,600 in total, according to criminal records. The document does not identify the relative or the name of the other person who actually donated.
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North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Lynda Bennett accepted a plea deal because she was accused of accepting a check for $25,000 under someone else’s name on behalf of her campaign.
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Bennett’s attorney, Kearns Davis, said in a written statement that “the case involves a technical violation of campaign finance regulations, based on a loan from a family member. Lynda is eager to put this behind her”.
Politico first reported on the case against Bennett, a Haywood County realtor who was a Republican candidate in the race for the 11th Congressional District seat held by the then-Rep. Mark Meadows. He was leaving the seat to become President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. Bennett was a friend of Meadows’ wife and endorsed by Meadows prior to the March 2020 primary. She qualified for a runoff primary but lost to Madison Cawthorn despite also receiving an endorsement from Trump.
Cawthorn won the 11th District general election in November 2020 and served one term. Then-state senator Chuck Edwards defeated Cawthorn in the primary last May and rejoined Congress earlier this month.