SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Conservative presidential candidate Evan McMullin, who earned more than 20 percent of the vote in Utah, is staring at a $670,000 debt from his campaign that could hurt plans to run for another office, according to a report.
McMullin’s latest filing with the Federal Election Commission shows six companies with outstanding bills. His largest debt of $520,000 is owed to a Florida-based law firm, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2oVO6cy)
McMullin, a former CIA agent, launched an independent run for president last year as a conservative alternative to Trump.
Joel Searby, McMullin’s campaign manager, said the team is working to pay off the debt.
“Responding to a unique moment, we ran a campaign on a short time frame and without traditional party support,” Searby said in a statement. “We are working hard to do what we can within the law to retire as much debt as possible.”
McMullin has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Sen. Orrin Hatch or as a candidate for a House seat from Utah. But he could have trouble finding donors if he fails to pay off the presidential campaign debt.
Brendan Fischer, the federal and FEC program director for the Campaign Legal Center, said McMullin will be more likely to raise funds if he stays in the public eye and keeps his base of supporters.
“With someone like Evan McMullin, who carved out a unique space in the political cycle, I presume he still has a band of followers who might want to donate,” Fischer said.
McMullin did not win any states in his presidential bid but earned tens of thousands of votes nationwide, including nearly 244,000 in Utah.