Pawlenty retires campaign debt

  • Updated: April 10, 2012 - 7:39 PM

The Republican also filed the paperwork to disband his presidential committee.

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Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, in Chattanooga in March, received help from former rivals Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann.

Photo: Ashlee Culverhouse, Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP

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Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty paid his debts and closed the book on his short-lived presidential campaign this week with a little help from two former rivals.

In its latest report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the campaign reported that it has paid off the last of its debts from Pawlenty's $5 million bid for the White House.

"It was truly an honor to run for President of the United States," the Republican said Tuesday in a statement. "Mary and I will be forever grateful to the many supporters who inspired and sustained the campaign. I am also glad we were able to pay all campaign debts and wind down the campaign properly."

Among those who assisted him in paying off those debts were former rivals Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney.

Pawlenty's campaign was six figures in the red when it ended last August after a disappointing third-place finish in the Ames straw poll. Since then, donations poured in steadily, including a $2,000 donation last quarter from Bachmann, whose leadership political action committee, Michele PAC, had more than $1 million in its coffers at the beginning of this year.

From October, when Pawlenty owed $435,000, the campaign debt shrank to $17,500 by the end of the year, thanks to such donors as GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, who each gave $2,500.

In the first three months of 2012, Pawlenty erased the last of the deficit, collecting another $18,543 in donations and receipts, according to the latest FEC report.

Books balanced, Pawlenty has filed paperwork to terminate his presidential campaign committee.

JENNIFER BROOKS

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