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    Federal Laws
    Politics and Government

    What happens to the funds a politician raised when they drop out of a race?


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    Melvin Bayer
    January 24, 2020 9:28PM

    I’ll limit this answer to the funds the politician’s own campaign raises, not Political Action Committees (PAC) associated with candidates, since that part gets pretty messy. Also, it should be noted that it’s pretty rare to have a lot of excess funds at the end of a race—most money raised gets spent quickly, and the reason why many candidates drop out is that they ran out of money.

    However, failed politicians do have a for leftover cash. The laws vary from state to state, but at the federal level, they’ll first tie up whatever loose ends the campaign might have, like debts or outstanding operating costs. With the rest, they can donate it to charities or political parties, donate up to $2,000 of it per election to another candidate (or $5,000 to a PAC), or save it for if they decide to run again. One thing they can’t do is pocket it for personal use.

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    Hey Jingli
    1 day ago

    Campaigns must adopt an accounting system to distinguish between contributions made for the primary election and those made for the general election. Nevertheless, the campaign of a candidate running in the general election may spend unused primary contributions for general election expenses.

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