WASHINGTON (AP) _ Republican Pete Olson alleged Wednesday that his GOP House runoff rival ran up the taxpayers' tab during her 51-day term in office.
Olson and former congresswoman Shelley Sekula Gibbs are in a runoff April 8 for the seat that once belonged to former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. The winner will face incumbent Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Stafford.
Olson's campaign issued a statement saying that Sekula Gibbs spent $182,114.62 while she finished Delay's term, calling it excessive.
Sekula Gibbs' campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sekula Gibbs won a special election to replace DeLay, who resigned June 9, 2006, amid a campaign finance scandal. She was sworn in on Nov. 13 and finished her term on Jan. 3, for a total 51 days in Congress.
Records of Sekula Gibbs' spending "reveal a total disregard for taxpayer's money," said Amy Goldstein, a spokeswoman for the Olson campaign.
Olson's office particularly questioned the $76,963.22 she spent on a mass mailing to the Houston-area district. That total included $37,692.19 in printing costs and $39,271.03 in postage.
The postage total is more than 12 other Texas House members spent in all of 2006, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press.
"Members of Congress use mass mailings to communicate their records to the voters, but what record could she have established when Congress was focused on the final passage of a few continuing spending bills and Christmas parties?" Goldstein said in a news release. "The only record that Sekula Gibbs was able to establish was of a reckless spender who can't be trusted with public funds."
On the Net: Shelley Sekula Gibbs: http://www.sekulagibbsforcongress.com
Pete Olson: http://www.olsonforcongress.com
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.