Andrew Lewis, a businessman running for the Republican nomination in the 11th Congressional District, ran a campaign for months while failing to fulfill a mandatory federal financial disclosure filing requirement.
Lewis jumped into the race to succeed Republican Congressman Lou Barletta – who is now running for U.S. Senate – last October. Federal regulations require that congressional candidates file a financial disclosure report with Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, outlining their business interests within 30 days.
That would have been about mid-November 2017. But early this week, nothing had been filed on Lewis’ behalf, according to the Office of the Clerk.
Lewis staffer Joe Desilets claimed that the campaign may have filed for an extension before he came onboard. But when asked why there was no record of such an extension months later, Desilets stopped responding to press inquiries.
Late yesterday, after several requests for comment from City&State PA, the Lewis campaign filed a report with the Office of the Clerk.
Lewis is COO of the Tradesman Building Group, a Harrisburg-based construction services firm, and previously served in the U.S. Army. His filing lists a $75,000 salary from that business, as well as $8,000 in drill pay from the PA Army National Guard and tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of investments.
Political sources say the House’s financial disclosure requirements are only sporadically enforced, carrying a nominal fine. Democratic political consultant Ken Snyder said that in most cases, failing to fulfill the filing requirement says more about a campaign’s competence than wrongdoing.
“It’s really one of the most basic housekeeping things a candidate for Congress has to do – and a really stupid way to earn some negative attention,” said Snyder, who is based in Philadelphia. “Otherwise, it’s a small bump in the road.”
Lewis will face off in the May Republican primary against state Rep. Stephen Bloom, former state Secretary of Revenue Dan Meuser, Berwick Borough Councilman Andrew Shecktor, former prosecutor Joe Peters and far-right nationalist candidate Sean Donahue.