State Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano has filed an election complaint against Democrat Will Haskell, the 22-year-old challenging Republican Toni Boucher for her state Senate seat representing the 26th District, alleging Haskell has misused campaign funds by paying his roommate.

"There's a simple answer that may not have occurred to Mr. Romano, and that is that my roommate, Jack Lynch, is my campaign manager,” Haskell said in a statement. “Jack is compensated for his work on the campaign, and we both pay rent. Sen. Boucher and Chairman Romano are welcome to stop by any time to visit Jack and me.”

Haskell called the complaint, “a pretty obvious attempt to avoid talking about improving our infrastructure, solving our pension crisis, keeping our students safe, or any of the other issues that matter to the 26th district.”

Romano accused Haskell of paying his roommate the equivalent salary of the listed rent on their apartment, about $1,100, and called it an abuse of CEP money.

“This is another example of a Democrat thinking the rules don't apply to them,” Romano said. “The language of the law is clear, a candidate cannot use his or her CEP grant for personal expenses.”

Josh Foley, a staff attorney and spokesman for the State Elections Enforcement Commission, declined comment. As a procedure, the agency usually does not comment on a complaint until it is docketed. The next meeting of the SEEC is Nov. 14.; 203-842-2563; @kaitlynkrasselt