The campaign of U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-5th District, employs two of the congresswoman’s adult children as part-time staffers, a legal arrangement under federal campaign rules so long as the jobs are real and the pay is fair market.
But hours after the Daily Caller posted a story Tuesday night about the jobs, her Republican challenger, George Logan, called on the House Committee on Ethics to investigate the legitimacy of their employment.
“Jahana Hayes was elected to Congress to serve the residents of Connecticut, not enrich herself and her family,” Logan said in a statement. “The Fifth District deserves a representative who puts people above profit.”
Candidates for federal office are barred from using campaign funds for personal use, but salary payments to family members are allowed unless those payments exceed market value or if “bona fide service” is not provided.
Hayes’ campaign finance reports show twice-monthly payments of about $283 to David Crenshaw and about $360 to Asia Clermont, a son and daughter of the congresswoman.
Barbara Ellis, the manager of Hayes’ reelection campaign, said Clermont handles campaign scheduling for her mother and Crenshaw does digital and tech support.
“There’s nothing nefarious about this or nothing covert about it,” Ellis said. “It’s just been disclosed consistently, and it’s allowable.”
Hayes was elected in 2018, becoming the first Black Democrat elected to Congress from Connecticut and one of the first two Black women elected from New England.
Her campaign reported the first payment of $360.62 to Clermont on Aug. 15, 2019 and the first payment of $283.43 to Crenshaw on Dec. 13, 2019. The payments to Clermont totaled about $21,000; to Crenshaw, $15,000.
Hayes is a former national teacher of the year and was a Waterbury public schools administrator before her election. She is a married to a Waterbury police officer and is the mother of four children.
The 5th District of western Connecticut is Democratic-leaning but relatively competitive. The National Republican Campaign Committee has targeted the race.
Logan is a former state senator who lost his seat in 2020. He is director of community relations at Aquarion Water Company.