When the General Election is over, what happens to any surplus campaign funds? If they are retained in the candidate’s coffers, I assume the same laws that apply to proper use as during the election itself? Or, do these funds have to returned to the rightful donors? …Or, might the respective Political Party claim the candidate’s surplus to fund the Party’s future political interests? Last, how are the RNC and DNC extravaganzas funded? (Since Local and State laws may vary like a herd of stray cats, let’s keep it simple and only examine the race for the White House.)
I don’t know if the rules for Presidential campaign funds are different, but Senators and Representatives who have surplus funds can keep them to use in another election. Even if they retire, they cannot convert them to personal use. They typically, I think, donate them to a different campaign or the general party campaign funds.
Here is a more complete, and I assume authoritative answer: https://www.pdc.wa.gov/learn/publications/candidate-instructions/prohibitions-and-restrictions/surplus-campaign-funds
As OldGuy says, excess campaign funds can generally be retained for another campaign down the road. If you don’t plan to run for office again, those funds need to be distributed to other political campaigns or party funds and the campaign org is shut down.
Every year at least a few politicians manage to get themselves in hot water for screwing with their campaign accounts. Most recently former Rep. Duncan Hunter got got for spending campaign funds on several mistresses.