Charlie Neibergall  /  AP
Kerry, who went bowling Monday in Mason City, Iowa, hopes to roll a financial strike by bolstering his campaign warchest with loans from himself.
updated 12/24/2003 7:17:08 PM ET 2003-12-25T00:17:08

Sen. John Kerry has lent his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination more than $6 million secured through a mortgage on his family’s Boston home, his campaign said Thursday.

Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, already had lent his campaign $850,000 to become the first candidate in the 2004 race to turn to his own fortune. The Kerry campaign has declined to disclose the value of the Beacon Hill house or the extent of the senator’s wealth, except to say that he had several millions of dollars at his disposal.

Under federal campaign law, Kerry cannot take the money from his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, an heir to the multimillion-dollar Heinz food fortune. She can give no more than $2,000, the limit applied to campaign donors. He is allowed to tap the full value of any property solely in his name and half the value of property he co-owns.

Kerry and rival Howard Dean are the only Democrats who have declined to take federal funds for their campaigns. President Bush also has decided to forego federal funding.

Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan said Thursday the mortgage-based loan shows Kerry’s personal commitment to the race for the nomination.

Past presidential candidates who spent millions of their own money on their campaigns include Republican Steve Forbes and Reform Party candidate Ross Perot.

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