SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The campaign of U.S. Sen. David Perdue paid a $30,000 fine to federal regulators for violations discovered in the Georgia Republican's fundraising reports from the 2014 election.
The civil penalty to the Federal Election Commission was disclosed Monday in Perdue's campaign finance report for the first three months of 2019.
FEC documents show the fine stemmed from violations uncovered by an audit of Perdue's fundraising and expenditures from five years ago, when the former Dollar General and Reebok CEO was first elected to the Senate. Now an outspoken ally of President Donald Trump, Perdue will seek reelection in 2020.
"After undergoing an exhaustive four-year-long random audit process, we reached a reasonable settlement agreement regarding some typical bookkeeping errors that occur on a campaign of this size in order to bring this matter to close," Perdue campaign consultant Derrick Dickey said.
The settlement says an FEC auditor found Perdue's campaign took more than $117,000 in prohibited contributions during the previous campaign, as well as more than $325,000 that exceeded legal limits on campaign donations. The FEC also found Perdue's campaign failed to disclose $128,972 in debts and obligations.
The document says Perdue's campaign disputed the amount of illegal contributions and presented documentation that "reduced the amount of apparent excessive contributions." But it doesn't say by how much. The agreement also says the campaign amended its financial disclosures to account for the unreported debt.
Perdue raised more than $14 million for the 2014 election in which he defeated Democrat Michelle Nunn, the daughter for former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn.
Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson has filed paperwork with the FEC to position herself as a potential Democratic challenger to Perdue. Democrat Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the race for Georgia governor last year, has also been weighing a 2020 Senate campaign. Abrams has not announced a decision.