Gingrich’s Debt $4.7 Million — Presidential Campaign Owes Candidate $650,000

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Speaker of the House, attends the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination owed $4.7 million at the end of 2012, 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. He was paid $320,167 from a direct mail firm renting his mailing list. Gingrich ended the year with $75,046 in his campaign bank account.

 

It can take years for unsuccessful presidential candidates to finish off 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 unpaid Gingrich loan to the  campaign, his other debts included $991,072 to Moby Dick Airways, an air charter company; $35,000 to a former House colleague, J.C. Watts, 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.

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. He 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 finished 2012 with $126,274 in the bank. He raised $23.6 million for his campaign. He also 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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