FRANKFORT — The father-in-law of Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams contributed $1 million to the Republican Governors Association a few weeks before the group's political action committee began running TV ads in support of Williams.
Terry Stephens, owner of Stephens Pipe and Steel in Russell Springs, told The Kentucky Gazette that he usually does not make such hefty campaign contributions, but "David is family."
He told The Kentucky Gazette that this was his first donation to the RGA.
Documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service show that Stephens made the contribution on June 22.
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In early July, the RGA's independent political action committee, Bluegrass Prosperity, hit the air with a television ad attacking Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear for his handling of the economy and touting Williams' record.
State Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon said it is illegal for a campaign to communicate or consult with groups that make independent election-related expenditures.
"It is absurd to think that Williams is not communicating with his own father-in-law, who it turns out is bankrolling a supposed 'independent expenditure' on behalf of Williams," Logsdon said.
The Williams campaign had no comment, spokesman Scott Jennings said. RGA spokesman Mike Schrimpf told the Associated Press that the RGA has fully complied with the law.
The RGA reported more than $22 million in contributions between Jan. 1 and June 30.