Outgoing Democratic representative Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.) has paid his wife $60,000 from his campaign funds so far this election cycle, Federal Election Commission filings show.
Gutierrez, who announced last year that he will not seek reelection to Congress in November, has paid his wife, Soraida, more than $430,000 over the course of the last eight years to act as his campaign treasurer and oversee his committee's "management and fundraising."
Soraida has collected 10 checks totaling $60,000 from the campaign since January 2017, the start of the current election cycle, and has been the recipient of nearly 40 percent of the campaign's total operating expenditures during this time, filings show.
Gutierrez's campaign has reported $90,000 in donations this cycle, $31,000 of which came from other campaign committees. The campaign raised only $3,569.36 from individual contributors.
The remaining $53,191.64 in receipts was reported from the Puerto Rican Relief Fund. The fund's address, as marked in Gutierrez's filings, appears to be that of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, a small office located in Chicago that is an "activist-oriented" grassroots, educational, health, and cultural services organization.
Gutierrez's campaign made three previous transfers totaling $53,191.64 to the fund between late September and mid-October for relief funds and supplies for hurricane victims.
Gutierrez has claimed that he is leaving Congress to focus on helping Puerto Rico recover after being hit by numerous hurricanes. Others, however, have speculated that Gutierrez is making a "grand inside play" and that the timing of his retirement raised "questions about his motives."
"The abruptness of his decision, the suspicious timing, the immediate coronation of a successor—all of it set off a flurry of speculation Tuesday that Gutiérrez had made some kind of grand inside play, perhaps brokered with Mayor Rahm Emanuel," Politico wrote last November. The publication later reported Gutierrez is mulling a run for president in 2020.
The campaign shows $155,139.27 in operating expenditures. Soraida's $60,000 in payments accounts for nearly 40 percent of the money spent by the campaign this cycle.
Rep. Gutierrez and his daughter, Jessica, reimbursed themselves hundreds of dollars each in transportation costs. The campaign now has $27,481.44 cash on hand.
Gutierrez's campaign could not be reached for comment on the payments.
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