By Jason DeRusha

On Twitter this morning, Jason Douglas asked, “What happens to the remaining money a candidate possesses after they drop out of the Presidential race?”

It’s a Good Question — but the reality is, candidates rarely have much money left in the bank. In fact, we reported that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty left the Presidential race with $453,000 of debt.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann likely will also have debt. But if she happens to have money left in her campaign coffers, she can do a couple things:

• You can donate an unlimited amount of money to a charity

• You can donate an unlimited amount to a political party

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• You can donate (within Federal election limits) to other national, state or local political candidates

• You can save it for another race

The biggest thing candidates can’t do with leftover money is to use it for personal expenses. In the “good ol’ days,” retiring lawmakers used to save the extra campaign cash and use it to go on vacation, buy a new Cadillac, that kind of deal. But in 1989, the Ethics Reform Act put an end to that practice.

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Source: FEC

Jason DeRusha