State Senate Leader Phil Berger is defending himself after questions were raised about his campaign finances. 

The Rockingham County Republican has been making payments on a Raleigh house that he and his wife own using money from his campaign.

The $1,500 payments have gone through a firm Berger manages.

Bob Hall, a retired leader of a campaign finance reform group, wants the state Board of Elections to investigate the transactions. 

Berger's campaign says the payments are lawful and that state officials knew about them. The former executive director of the State Board of Elections, Kim Stracht, approved the payments in 2016, and that decision was reaffirmed in the spring. 

State law allows campaign money to be used for expenses resulting from running for or holding office.

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