Twelve-term U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns lost his Republican primary to a
little known tea party opponent last week with as much as $2 million
still sitting in his campaign account.
Now he has no campaign to spend it on.
Stearns, it turns out, is one of several high-profile Florida candidates ousted from the campaign trail with formidable war chests of leftover cash. Stearns was sitting on about $2.1 million in late July, while former U.S. Senate candidates Mike Haridopolos and George LeMieux have about $1.4 million and $1 million, respectively.
Money raised for federal campaigns cannot go to personal expenses, but almost anything else is fair game.
"I'm sure congressman Stearns is getting quite a few calls from the Republican Party of Florida and other political party committees saying 'Hey, can we have some of your campaign funds,'" said former Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner. "He may want to hang onto the money, but he'll certainly be under pressure to give."
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