Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., a prominent conservative, paid his brother-in-law, who had little experience, $170,000 to be his finance director.
Stutzman, who is a running for to replace retiring Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, paid his brother-in-law, Gabe Rivera, from accounts raised from campaign contributions.
Rivera, an actor and car salesman, was paid significantly more than market value for his role, and more than Stutzman paid Rivera's successor.
Rivera was paid $5,000 a month for three years. That is $800 a month higher than his successor was paid.
"I trust him more. I know him," Stutzman said defending the move to the Associated Press. "I'm trying to protect every dollar that comes in from donors. I had no concerns whatsoever about him being my brother-in-law."
Stutzman has also been criticized recently for spending $3,000 of campaign money on a family trip to California.
Indiana votes Tuesday, running in the GOP primary against GOP Congressman Todd Young.