Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan paid rent to a company linked to a donor to her 2024 Senate bid, according to campaign finance data and business records.
Slotkin, who raised roughly $3 million during the third fundraising quarter, paid $2,000 in rent in September to “Ghandi Properties LLC,” registered to 26222 Telegraph Rd., Southfield, Michigan, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. “Ghandi” appears to be a typo for “Gandhi,” as Gandhi Properties LLC is registered to that same address in business filings with the Michigan state government.
The company’s resident agent, Prakash Gandhi, is listed as a business partner of Milan Gandhi, who donated $3,300 to Slotkin’s Senate campaign in May, according to Michigan business filings. Moreover, Med-Share, the medical diagnostic imaging business run by Prakash Gandhi and Milan Gandhi, is also listed as inhabiting 26222 Telegraph Rd. in business filings.
Milan Gandhi listed the Telegraph Rd. address with his campaign contribution, according to Slotkin’s filings.
Kendra Arnold, executive director of Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT), said Slotkin’s proximity to the donor raised potential ethics concerns.
“Anytime a candidate has a relationship with someone their campaign is paying, whether it be a personal, family, or donor relationship, those payments must be subject to greater scrutiny to ensure they are at fair market value for necessary campaign needs,” Arnold told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “If the payments were either under or over fair market value, that is a violation of campaign finance law.”
The DCNF reached out to Slotkin’s campaign about the payments and whether she paid fair market value to rent from Gandhi Properties LLC, though she did not respond. Prakash Gandhi could not be reached for comment by email, and Med-Share did not return the DCNF’s phone calls.
Milan Gandhi is listed as the treasurer and secretary of Med-Share, while Prakash Gandhi is listed as the president and director of the company, according to business filings.
Both Prakash Gandhi and Milan Gandhi have donated to numerous other political campaigns on both sides of the aisle, according to FEC filings.
Prakash Gandhi has given contributions to Michigan Democrats like former congressional candidate Suneel Gupta and now-Democratic Sen. Gary Peters’ previous House campaign. Gandhi has also funded Republican candidates, such as Michigan Rep. John James’ 2020 Senate bid, former President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection bid and conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign.
Milan Gandhi donated to Michigan Democratic Reps. Shri Thanedar and Haley Stevens, as well as President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. He has also given to James’ congressional and Senate bids, Trump’s 2020 reelection bid and Ramaswamy, along with a long list of other political campaigns.
Slotkin reportedly rented a condo from a donor in Lansing, Michigan, in 2022, according to MLive. The congresswoman rented the property from Jerry Hollister, an executive of medical manufacturing firm Niowave, Inc., who had donated $1,850 to Slotkin’s congressional campaign.
The open Michigan Senate seat currently held by outgoing Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow is characterized by The Cook Political Report as in the “Lean D” column, along with races in Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
While many Democrats and Republicans are vying for the seat, Slotkin, who currently has $5.2 million cash on hand, remains the frontrunner, according to FiveThirtyEight’s survey compilation.
Slotkin was first elected to the U.S. House in 2018 when she ousted incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Bishop by nearly four points.
Milan Gandhi also did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
Mary Lou Masters on October 20, 2023