Congressional candidate seeks campaign funds for child care

Posted: Updated:
SEAFORD -

A candidate for Rep. Peter King’s seat wants to use campaign contributions to pay for a baby sitter while she runs for Congress.

Before she announced her run for King’s congressional seat, Liuba Grechen Shirley worked from home and took care of her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.

She sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission asking for permission citing two previous cases, one in 1995 and the other in 2008, where men were permitted to use campaign funds to pay for child care.

"A baby sitter is just as important to our team as our campaign manager or our finance director,” said Grechen Shirley. “She is an integral part of our team and she makes it possible that we can actually run this campaign."

If the FEC approves her request, Grechen Shirley said it will set a precedent and encourage more parents to run.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) issued a statement to News 12 saying in part, “It's up to the FEC but I certainly have no problem if it goes ahead."

Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer Duwayne Gregory, Grechen Shirley's opponent in the Democratic primary, did not return News 12’s calls for comment.

A spokesperson from Gregory's campaign told Newsday, "Ethics rules exist for serious reasons, and using campaign funds for personal expenses is a very slippery slope."

Grechen Shirley insists they're not personal expenses and called it vital to having a truly representative democracy.

"It's not a slippery slope. It's a critical first step and it would be a game-changer,” said Grechen Shirley.

The Federal Elections Commission has yet to make a decision. The agency is expected to respond within 60 days.

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