BEAVERCREEK — A Greene County candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives is donating campaign contributions from those connected to the $60 million bribery scandal to local charities.
Brian Lampton — the Republican candidate for Ohio’s 73rd District — accepted $13,292.35 from Friends of Larry Householder and $1,000 from FirstEnergy Political Action Committee, according to state campaign finance documents.
Householder is Ohio speaker of the House and was one of five arrested Tuesday for their alleged participation in the bribery case connected to a taxpayer-funded bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants. FirstEnergy is one of the plants to benefit from the bailout and is allegedly behind the bribery money although it was not specifically named in the indictment.
On Wednesday, Lampton issued a statement through his campaign, Citizens for Lampton.
“My campaign has decided to donate the monies received from the Householder campaign to local charities because I believe it’s the right thing to do,” the statement said.
Lampton, a Fairborn resident and Beavercreek business owner, said he was “shocked and saddened” by Householder’s arrest and reaffirmed his commitment to Greene County.
“While these events continue to unfold let me be clear: my campaign has never been about Columbus politics. It has always been about my desire to serve the community and make a real difference in the lives of Ohioans,” Lampton said. “For decades, I have owned a business and served many civic causes in our area. People know me and they know my record of honesty and integrity. I remain committed to serving the people of Greene County in the Ohio House.”
Earlier on Wednesday Kim McCarthy, the Democratic candidate for Ohio’s 73rd District, said in a press release that Lampton should give the campaign contributions back.
“Even the appearance of corruption is unacceptable for elected officials, so I call on Mr. Lampton to immediately return the $14,292 that he accepted from those referred to in the multi-felony indictment,” McCarthy said. “Mr. Lampton must cut any ties he has with both Speaker Householder and his alleged co-conspirators, and reject any assistance and support from the dark money PACs that spend dollars on his behalf.”
Lampton told Greene County News McCarthy’s plea was not a deciding factor in his decision.
“I absolutely don’t want to keep the money, not because of anything my opponent is saying, but because I feel it is the right thing to do,” Lampton said.
In his COVID-19 press conference Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine said campaign contributions he received from anyone charged in the bribery will be donated to charity as well.
Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), who is the current representative in Ohio District 73, joined DeWine and other state lawmakers who called on Householder to resign.
“While Speaker Householder has rights afforded to him, including the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law, the conditions set in the arraignment hearing preclude the Speaker from acting in his official capacity,” Perales said. “With pressing issues facing Ohioans that requires action by the Ohio House of Representatives, I call on Speaker Householder to resign to allow the Ohio House to continue working for Ohioans.”
Ohio District 73 includes Beavercreek, Bellbrook, Fairborn, and Yellow Springs.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.