ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, known for being his own biggest political benefactor, said Wednesday he doesn’t plan to use personal money in his 2014 re-election campaign on quite the scale of his last two campaigns.
Dayton, a first-term Democrat, said that “out of necessity” he is going to raise most of his money from others. Dayton said that as the incumbent, he should be able to get donations based on his record.
“I’m not going to self-finance to the amount I have done in the past,” he told reporters. “I’m going to work hard at fundraising and broadening the base and we’ll see how much progress I can make there.”
When the heir to a department store fortune won the governor’s office in 2010, Dayton fueled the campaign with $3.9 million in personal loans, most of which are still unpaid. During that race, his income tax forms showed he had to sell pieces from a family fine art collection to free up money.
Ten years earlier, he spent nearly $12 million of his own money toward securing a U.S. Senate race win.
According to Dayton’s most recent campaign report, he had just shy of $86,000 in available political cash.
Dayton said he held two fundraisers earlier in the week that raised more than $30,000 combined.
He said a new state law increasing maximum donations should help him build an adequate campaign fund. The new limits allow candidates for governor to seek up to $4,000 per donor, nearly double what they could have previously.
“We’re gearing up,” Dayton said. “Obviously a long way to go, but we’re working at it.”
Dayton’s 2014 campaign will mark the first time he is seeking re-election to any office. He previously served single terms as state auditor and U.S. senator, bowing out voluntarily.
Two Republican candidates, businessman Scott Honour and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, have announced they are vying for the nomination to challenge Dayton. There are others expected to join the race, with the nominees chosen in August 2014.
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