Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination owed $4.7 million at the end of the year, including almost $650,000 to himself, Federal Election Commission filings show.
Gingrich raised $24.8 million for his campaign, including $151,814 in individual donations during the last three months of 2012, most of which was in amounts of $200 or less. Gingrich ran first in two primaries in the nomination race, won by Mitt Romney, and officially ended his self-described “wide ride” presidential bid in early May.
His campaign committee was paid $320,167 from a direct mail firm renting his mailing list. Gingrich, 69, ended 2012 with $75,046 in his campaign bank account.
It can take years for unsuccessful presidential candidates to clear their debts, if at all. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently paid off the money she owed from her unsuccessful 2008 Democratic presidential campaign. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who sought the Republican nomination the same year, still had creditors waiting to be paid as of the end of September.
In addition to the $647,519 owed to Gingrich for travel costs, his other debts included $991,072 to Moby Dick Airways, an air charter company; $35,000 to a former House colleague, J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, for consulting; and $16,526 to another unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate, businessman Herman Cain, for consulting and travel. Cain endorsed Gingrich, a fellow Georgian, for president after ending his own candidacy in late 2011.
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who owed $2.3 million after leaving the presidential race in April, pared down his campaign debt to $732,035, according to the FEC.
Santorum still owed $482,988 to his former chief strategist, John Brabender, and $15,000 for sponsoring Tony Raines’s Ford Fusion in NASCAR’s Daytona 500 auto race in Florida last February. The race car, with Santorum’s campaign logo adorning the hood, finished 19th.
Santorum’s campaign treasury ended 2012 with $126,274 in the bank; he raised $23.6 million for his candidacy. The FEC filings show he rented out his mailing list, earning $100,000 from his own leadership political action committee and $294,608 from an outside firm.
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