State’s two political parties still face debt

The state’s two political parties are heading into the November election facing significant debt.

The latest campaign fundraising reports show that the Minnesota Republican Party had a debt of $964,367 as of May 31st. That debt does not include $700,000 in legal bills stemming from the 2010 gubernatorial recount. Party officials have said that they are heading in the right direction after reporting nearly $2 million in debt in December. The party says it has $37 thousand in the bank.

Meanwhile, the DFL Party reports a debt of $267,654 but says it has more than $400 thousand on hand. DFL Party Chair Ken Martin says he inherited a debt of more than $700 thousand dollars when he took over as party chair in 2011. He said his goal is to erase the party’s debt by the end of the year.

“That debt is slowly being whittled down and at the same time we’ve talked to all of the people that we have obligations to and worked out payments plans,” Martin said.

Martin also said his party is on pace to have one of the most successful fundraising years in the DFL Party’s history.

Both parties are preparing for an active election season, given that the president and Senator Amy Klobuchar are up for re-election. The state’s eight congressional seats and every seat in the state Legislature are also on the ballot.

The party’s finances will come into clearer focus next month. That’s when the state parties have to file both a monthly report on the federal level and the pre-primary report on the state level.

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