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Republicans slam Berkley with election complaint

Washoe County Republican Party Chairman David Buell said he filed a federal ethics complaint on Friday against U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley and the Nevada Democratic Party for coordinating on her U.S. Senate campaign.

Berkley is running against four little-known Democrats in the June 12 primary, but Nevada Democrats have been helping her campaign for months because she is the presumptive nominee.

Buell said federal campaign law allows state political parties to coordinate only with their official nominee. He points to two campaign mailers promoting Berkley’s work with veterans and paid for by the Nevada Democratic Party as a sign that the Democrats are not following federal law.

Democrats responded by accusing Washoe Republicans of filing the complaint to help Berkley’s likely general election rival, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller. The coordination is allowed under federal law, rendering the Republican’s complaint invalid, said state Democratic Party spokesman Zac Petkanas .

The allegations come as Berkley is expected to run against Heller in a race that is expected to be one of the closest in the country. The Democrats said the money spent on the mailers came from a fund set aside for the general election that the party can use now to help Berkley.

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