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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana GOP Auditor Candidate May Face Fines For Seven Campaign Violations

Troy Downing at the Republican Senate primary debate in Helena, April 26, 2018.
Troy Downing at the Republican Senate primary debate in Helena, April 26, 2018.

Montana’s top elections enforcer says the Republican candidate for state auditor made seven campaign practice violations leading up to the June primary.

Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan found last week that Bozeman business owner Troy Downing failed to report several campaign expenditures, failed to include "paid by" attribution on campaign materials and didn’t notify opposing candidates of campaign mailers mentioning them within the required time period.

In a statement, campaign manager Sam Loveridge called the issues minor and said the campaign didn’t knowingly run afoul of election rules. He said the campaign changed its finance and compliance team and replaced campaign vendors that didn’t meet their standards.

John Perkins filed the four complaints that spurred Mangan’s findings. He was campaign manager for one of Downing’s primary challengers, Scott Tuxbury.

This week, Mangan also found Tuxbury guilty of a campaign practice violation. Downing’s campaign filed the complaint tied to that offense.

The violations are expected to be settled with negotiated fines in an undetermined timeframe.

Copyright 2020 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kevin is a UM Journalism graduate student and reporter for MTPR.
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