Questions remain about how Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson funded her trip to Alabama last weekend.

Benson made the trip to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the Montgomery to Selma “Bloody Sunday” march. She was accompanied by an unspecified number of members of her staff, as well as her senior advisor, deputy secretary of state, chief of staff, and chief legal director, according to a video she posted on X:

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The purpose of the trip is vague, although The Midwesterner previously reported Benson met with staff members of the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center, where the Secretary of State was formerly employed as a “hate crime” investigator and later served as a member on its board of directors.

According to a news release, Benson said: “From Birmingham to Montgomery to Selma, people marched on Sunday to learn from the past and honor our heroes, while thinking about our own part in protecting every voice and every vote now. I want to thank voting rights warriors for reminding me who I am and who I seek to be.”

A response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed Monday, March 4, by The Midwesterner was answered by an email that said it would take 10 days to respond. Because a FOIA request had been filed, Benson’s office wouldn’t grant a response to The Midwesterner’s question via a Thursday morning telephone call whether the trip was taxpayer-funded, paid for by private donors, or out-of-pocket by the secretary of state and her staff.

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During her visit, Benson received the key to Selma from Mayor James Perkins.

“The freedom fighters who fought and bled for democracy in Selma in 1965 inspired me to build a career that sought to continue their work,” Benson said in a statement. “It’s incredible to be honored by the city that has given so much to American democracy.”