Now that Brad Harriman has dropped out of the 12th Congressional District race, it remains to be seen what will happen to campaign contributions that may total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Harriman for Congress reported more than $200,000 cash on hand through the end of March, according to a quarterly filing with the Federal Election Commission. Harriman’s former campaign manager and Harriman for Congress Treasurer Nate Brown did not say how much money remained or what will happen with any remaining cash.
Harriman quit the campaign against Republican Jason Plummer, citing an unspecified neurological condition.
The campaign money cannot be used for personal expenses. But the money may be disbursed in other ways.
Harriman for Congress, the O’Fallon Democrat’s election committee, may donate an unlimited amount to charities or a political party. The committee may also donate up to $2,000 per election to a candidate.
Harriman for Congress could also become a political action committee, or PAC, to donate up to $5,000 to at least five different candidates, but that option may not be likely as it takes six months and 50 donors to become such a PAC. The November election is about five months away.
In an email, Brown said the committee is taking steps to terminate the campaign.
“We are beginning the process of winding down the campaign complying with FEC rules and meeting our financial obligations,” Brown wrote.
Harriman for Congress must file a termination report with the FEC. The FEC will then notify the campaign committee if the termination report has been accepted.
If termination is accepted, Harriman’s campaign cannot accept any more donations unless the money would be used to retire a net debt. The campaign website’s donation tab was still active Wednesday.
Brown said the campaign did not have a net debt and “was on target to meet aggressive fundraising goals.”
Harriman for Congress raised more than $370,000 from Oct. 1 to March 31.
Plummer’s campaign raised $250,000 over the same period, which included a $10,000 loan from Plummer to the campaign. Plummer for Congress also had $137,000 in debt from October through March.
Plummer is still in the race to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, a Belleville Democrat who is retiring from Congress.
Costello will be co-chairman of the committee to find Harriman’s replacement. Selection of a new candidate will fall to the Democratic Party leaders in the 12th District’s counties, with each chairman or chairwoman having a weighted say based on how many Democratic votes were cast in the March primary election in their counties.
Harriman said he has lived with the neurological condition without limitation or noticeable change since 2010, but began experiencing worsening symptoms in May.
After testing, his physician said long-term and permanent injury could occur if the condition was left untreated and allowed to worsen over the course of the campaign.
On Twitter: @DW_Norris_SI