Who keeps unused election money?

Not that this is Condit specific, but it did get me wondering:

If someone raises money then doesn’t use it all what happens to it? I would guess that the winner can keep it in their ‘war chest’ for the next election, and probably the loser, as well. But what if they never run again? Do they just get to keep it?

I can see Condit raising a bunch of money then not running, or putting up a token campaign, and pocketing the rest. My own state, Delaware, had a senior senator by the name of Roth (of Roth IRA fame). But this last election, despite all his seniority (which Delawarians tend to preserve at most any cost since we only get 3 reps and we like to maximise their influence) and his IRA, he put up a really weak campaign and lost. So I’m also wondering about him, too.


The candidate can’t keep the money for him/herself. That would be most illegal.

This is what the rules are in Virginia.

I would imagine Federal guidelines are similar.

Are you by any chance James Carroll, of Tullanisky, Mullingar, Ireland?

Sometimes candidates find themselves in debt, like Maria Cantwell, who won a Washington Senate race, or Rick Lazio, who lost the NY Senate race. Cantwell won by the slimmest margin of any Senator in the last cycle, so she’s already started raising funds and paying down that debt, which is mostly due to the fact she self-funded her campaign and her company stock plummeted. I still don’t know how Rick Lazio is able to get people to contribute to him, considering his crappy performance against Hillary and his shunning of running for elected office again (he won’t run for his old seat, which was won by a Democrat and he won’t run for statewide office either, against the wishes of NY Republicans). Still, he manages to slowly pay off that debt.

In the old days, the candidate could keep any unused money for his personal use, also. Goldurn campaign finance laws! :slight_smile:

Heaving Mass:

Not yet. But send me a plane ticket and I’ll see what I can do. :slight_smile: