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Dewhurst Aide Accused of Stealing $1 Million from U.S. Senate Campaign

Ben Philpott, KUT News

A former aide to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is being accused of stealing at least $1 million from Dewhurt’s campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield was already facing accusations that he embezzled at least $600,000 from a state campaign account. Now, a spokesperson for Dewhurst says they believe Barfield stole more than $1 million from a separate campaign fund aimed at securing Dewhurst the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. 

Dewhurst lost that primary race to Ted Cruz, who went on to win the Senate seat and succeed Kay Bailey Hutchison. 

"This is a serious and unfortunate situation and our attorneys have turned this matter over to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission," Dewhurst spokesperson Rob Johnson said in an emailed statement. "The federal campaign is fully cooperating with both agencies in their investigation of this matter and we look forward to the resolution of this matter."

The Dallas Morning News first broke the story Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile,the Austin American-Statesman reports that the filings with the Federal Election Commission "reveal that Dewhurst’s federal campaign owes money to his state campaign account for consulting services, an apparent violation of federal election laws."

Dewhurst is currently in the process of refunding $780,000 in donations made to his U.S. Senate campaign, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The paper cites an unnamed source "with knowledge of the investigation," who says the money is coming out of Dewhurt's own pocket. 

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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