Murphy resigned amid revelations that he urged a woman with whom he had an affair to have an abortion.
A Federal Election Commission filing shows that Murphy’s campaign gave $5,000 to the Westmoreland County Republican Committee, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“When it was given, who we would be using it for would be Rick Saccone,” said Michael Korns, the chairman of the county committee. “When Tim sent it, he did say, ‘Use it however you’d see fit, but I think it’d be best to help Rick.’”
Watch: Fundraising Reports Say a Lot About a Campaign
Murphy hung up when asked by the Tribune-Review about the contribution.
But Saccone’s campaign distanced itself from the contribution.
“Tim Murphy’s contribution to the Westmoreland County Republican Committee has no connection to Rick Saccone’s campaign,” Saccone spokesman Pat Geho wrote to the Tribune-Review in an email. “Rick has not accepted any contributions from Mr. Murphy, and he urges the Westmoreland County Party to immediately return the donation in question.”
Saccone is facing Democratic nominee Conor Lamb, a Marine veteran, who raised more than double what Saccone raised by the end of the year.
But Korns said Murphy’s money is not permanently tainted.
“He made a very bad decision, and a bad mistake, and he resigned, which is the right thing to do,” he said. “But that doesn’t change the fact that he can do with his money what he thinks is best.”
That sentiment was shared by Washington County Republican Party spokesman Dave Ball.
“He has campaign money, and he’s willing to support his party,” Ball said. “And I think that it’s perfectly legitimate, and we appreciate any help he can give us.”