- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter said Thursday she is prepared to win back the seat she lost to Republican Frank Guinta now that the Federal Election Commission has found that he accepted illegal campaign donations from his parents.

Shea-Porter, a Democrat, served for two terms in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District before Guinta defeated her in 2010. She won in 2012, only to lose to him again last November.

During the 2010 campaign, Guinta reported lending himself $355,000 and amended a disclosure form to add a previously unreported bank account, prompting questions from his Republican primary rivals and Shea-Porter. Over the years, Guinta flatly denied the money came from his parents or was an illegal campaign donation. But the FEC said the opposite in a recent agreement and ordered Guinta to re-pay the money plus a $15,000 fine.

Last fall, Guinta ran an ad calling Shea-Porter a liar for saying he remained under investigation by the FEC. In an email to supporters, Shea-Porter said she agrees with Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte and others who have called on Guinta to resign.

“Guinta broke the law, used illegal funds in his campaign, and proceeded to lie and cheat for five years,” she said. “I stand ready to win this seat back and restore honesty, integrity and competence to the NH-01 seat.”

Since the agreement became public, Guinta, 44, has insisted the money was his because he contributed to his parents’ account over 40 years. He apologized to constituents but said he will not resign, and he maintains his only error was not properly reporting the money.

His spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

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