No rules for leftover campaign money

Published 11:32 pm Friday, June 6, 2008

NATCHEZ — Any campaign contributions not spent by candidates once the election is over can be spent however candidates choose.

Mississippi campaign finance statutes do not outline what to do with extra money.

“There is nothing in state law that prohibits leftover campaign contributions from being used for personal purposes,” according to the Jan Schaefer, the public information officer to the Mississippi Attorney General’s office.

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Candidates could do anything with the extra money from using it to run for election again in four years, give it back to the donors or go on vacation with it.

City Clerk Donnie Holloway said after filing a termination report of the campaign finances, candidates are no longer required to submit any more reports.

While the majority of candidates, especially in the alderman race, typically don’t have much cash on hand left after the election, for the mayoral candidates it’s a different story.

For mayor-elect Jake Middleton and candidate Chick Graning remains a big chunk of change.

While both have outstanding bills, which will impact the cash left on hand, Middleton was last reported to have $14,496 left and Graning having $19,520.

Mayor Phillip West, who’s campaigning ended after the first primary on May 6, reported on May 13 to have received $48,582 in contributions and having only disbursed $27,004 of that.

This left him with $21,578 cash on hand before filing a termination report.