Contents Of Secret Poll At Heart Of Campaign Finance Controversy Don’t Look Good For GOP Rep. Steve Chabot’s Dem Challenger

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter
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  • The state elections commission voted 6 to 1 on Sept. 20 to move forward with a probe of Democratic candidate Aftab Pureval’s campaign
  • Pureval will face incumbent Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot in the general election
  • Pureval is campaigning for both a congressional seat and his current position as a county clerk of courts

Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Aftab Pureval could be in hot water with the state elections commission after the Cincinnati Enquirer revealed a poll at the heart of a campaign finance controversy did not pertain to information Pureval’s campaign attorney said it did.

Pureval currently serves as Hamilton County clerk of courts and used funds from his county reelection campaign for the poll, which was obtained by the Cincinnati Enquirer Wednesday. The poll had “not one question about the 2020 clerk of court’s race” and could be a campaign finance violation, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The contents of the poll contrast with what Pureval campaign attorney Peter O’Shea said last week.

“Polling can be done for both races, and there’s no law that prohibits from running for two offices at the same time,” O’Shea said. “That’s exactly what’s happening.”

Pureval’s county campaign can accept donations of any amount, while his congressional campaign can only accept donations of $5,400 or less, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. A $16,427 check with a redacted memo line that turned out to read “poll balance” from the Pureval county campaign was one of four checks with redacted information that sparked an Ohio Elections Commission probe into Pureval’s campaign on Sept. 20.

The Ohio Elections Commission could fine Pureval’s campaign or even refer “the case … to a prosecutor for criminal charges” depending on its findings, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Pureval’s county campaign hired GBA Strategies to carry out the poll, which surveyed 400 likely voters from Jan. 11 to 16, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Much of the money in Pureval’s county campaign’s coffers comes from his mother, Drenko Pureval. She had donated $30,000 to that campaign as of August, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Pureval has received national attention, including from celebrities, for his fight against Republican incumbent Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District. Television host David Letterman planned to attend a private event for Pureval Wednesday evening, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer Tuesday. And Ben & Jerry’s founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield chose Pureval as one of seven “progressive” candidates they are mixing up a special flavor for, reported WOSU Tuesday

Chabot and Pureval’s contest switched from “Leans Republican” to “Toss Up” on Sabato’s Crystal Ball in late July, reported WVXU.

Pureval’s campaign website lists his support for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, trade agreements to “protect American workers” and labor unions as “the backbone of the middle class.” (RELATED: Republican Steve Chabot’s Democratic Challenger’s Campaign Probed Over Redacted Checks From His Mom)

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the Pureval campaign but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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