Candidates Who Lose the Primary - Filing Reports After the Election

The C-4 report filed on September 10 is the final report if the campaign is done – meaning there are no outstanding debts, loans or other obligations, surplus funds have been disposed of and the campaign has been dissolved.

If the campaign does not or cannot file a final report on September 10, continue to file C-4 reports until all debts and other obligations are satisfied.  These reports are filed on the 10th of each month (covering the previous calendar month, or the period since the last report) whenever expenditures made total $200 or more since the last C-4 report was filed.  A final C-4 report is filed when all obligations are settled.

Candidate Who Are Subject To Contribution Limits

Donors may make primary election contributions to candidates who are subject to contribution limits up to 30 days after the date of the primary, if the candidate loses in the primary and does not have enough money to pay primary debt.  These contributions count against the contributor’s overall primary limit. This means that if you lose in the primary, you will only have an additional 30 days to solicit contributions to satisfy primary debt.  Contributions received in excess of the sum needed to satisfy outstanding primary debts must be returned to the original contributors.

If the candidate has debts or loans outstanding after the 30 day post primary timeframe (but insufficient campaign funds to cover these obligations), there are only three options available for raising money.

1)   The candidate may contribute personal funds to his or her campaign and use these funds to pay off the debts and loans.  (These contributions are also reported on C-3 reports.)

2)   The candidate could receive contributions from a bona fide political party or caucus political committee so long as the contributions are made by December 31 of that election year.  These contributions count against the contributor's overall limit.  (The contributions are also reported on C-3 reports.)

3) The candidate decides to seek another public office and files a C-1 registration statement with PDC to that effect.  A final C-4 report for the campaign just concluded is filed.  A beginning C-4 report for the new campaign is also filed, showing the debt being carried forward to this new campaign.  It is conceivable that there could be a cash surplus that is also carried forward; but, it is more likely that all cash remaining from the earlier campaign has been used to reduce the amount of the debt left from that campaign.  (In order to use this debt payment method, the person must be a legitimate candidate in the new election, and not simply re-registering as a candidate in order to collect money to pay off the old debts or loans.  All contributions received count against the contributor's limit (if any) for the new campaign, even if they are spent on debts or loans from the previous campaign.)

If there is a surplus after the election, you may

  1. dispose of the surplus in one or more of the other ways allowed by law and file a final C-4 report for the campaign;
  2. move the money into a Surplus Funds Account and file a final C-4 report for the campaign;
  3. let the funds lie dormant in the campaign account, but before receiving any contributions for a new campaign or making any expenditures for a new campaign, file a final report for the old campaign, file a new C-1 registration for the new campaign, and file a C-4 for the new campaign showing the surplus being carried forward.

Candidates Who Are Not Subject To Contribution Limits

Candidates who are not subject to contribution limits may continue to accept contributions until the debt is retired.  Any funds raised in excess of the amount of debt must be returned to the contributor(s).

General Election Candidates - Filing Reports After the Election

The C-4 report filed on January 10, 2018, is the final report if the campaign is concluded, there are no outstanding debts, loans or other obligations, surplus funds have been disposed of and the campaign has been dissolved.

If the campaign does not or cannot file a final report the first January after the general election, continue to file C-4 reports until all debts and other obligations are satisfied.  These reports are filed on the 10th of each month (covering the previous calendar month, or the period since the last report) whenever expenditures made total $200 or more since the last C-4 report was filed.  If you have a campaign surplus, but make no new expenditures, no C-4 reports are required until campaign financial activity resumes.

If the candidate has debts or loans outstanding after the election (but insufficient campaign funds after the election to cover these obligations), there are three options.

  1. Through December 31 of the election year, contributors who have not given the maximum amount allowed may make contributions, so long as any post-election contributions when combined with those given earlier in the campaign do not exceed their limit.  For most contributors that limit is $2,000 to state executive candidates and $1,000 to legislative candidates for the general election.  For the state committee of a bona fide political party and a caucus political committee, the limit is $1.00 times the number of registered voters in the jurisdiction.  Party county central committees and the legislative district committee in the candidate's jurisdiction share a combined limit of $.50 times the number of registered voters.  (These contributions are also reported on a C-3.)
  1. The candidate may contribute personal funds to his or her campaign and use these funds to pay off the debts and loans.  (These contributions are also reported on a C-3 report.)
  1. The candidate decides to seek another public office and files a C-1 registration statement with PDC to that effect.  A final C-4 report for the campaign just concluded is filed.  A beginning C-4 report for the new campaign is also filed, showing the debt being carried forward to this new campaign.  It is conceivable that there could be a cash surplus that is also carried forward; but, it is more likely that all cash remaining from the earlier campaign has been used to reduce the amount of the debt left from that campaign.  (In order to use this debt payment method, the person must be a legitimate candidate in the new election, and not simply re-registering as a candidate in order to collect money to pay off the old debts or loans.  All contributions received count against the contributor's limit (if any) for the new campaign, even if they are spent on debts or loans from the previous campaign.)

Because of the way the law is worded, after December 31 of the election year, no one (except as discussed above) may give a candidate in that election money or anything else of value to pay off remaining campaign debts/loans.  Nor may anyone else directly pay the persons who are owed the money, since those payments constitute in-kind contributions (and contributions have to be made on or before December 31).  Nor may the person to whom the debt or loan is owed forgive the obligation, unless the person did so on or before December 31 (and the amount forgiven, when combined with other contributions from that contributor, does not exceed $1,000 for state legislative candidates and $2,000 for state executive office candidates).

Spending Surplus Campaign Funds

If there is a surplus after the election, you may:

  1. move the money into a Surplus Funds Account and file a final C-4 report for the campaign;
  2. dispose of the surplus in one or more of the other ways allowed by law and file a final C-4 report for the campaign;
  3. let the funds lie dormant in the campaign account (or invest them as discussed below), but before receiving any contributions for a new campaign or making any expenditures for a new campaign, file a final report for the old campaign, file a new C-1 registration for the new campaign, and file a C-4 for the new campaign showing the surplus being carried forward.