Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker closed the year — after his November general election and December runoff — with more than $5 million in cash on hand, new filings show.
Walker's campaign filed its campaign finance reports covering the end of the runoff period through the end of the year late last week, documents that provide new transparency into how the campaign ended the political cycle.
The campaign spent its war chest significantly in the final weeks — taking in $15 million and spending $19.8 million between Nov. 17 and Dec. 28 (while the runoff was on Dec. 6, the Federal Election Commission asks for candidates to file their spending across the broader date range). But despite that significant spending, the campaign still closed the year with more than $5 million in the bank.
Over that same period, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock's campaign raised $30.7 million and spent $54.4 million, numbers indicative of the dynamic throughout the race — while Walker was well-funded and spent significantly on his campaign, Warnock's record-setting fundraising pace gave him vastly more resources. The Democrat ended the cycle, where he won a full six-year term, with about $6 million in the bank.
A spokeswoman for Walker's campaign did not return a request for comment about why the campaign didn't spend that additional money in its runoff, which Walker lost by a little less than 2 percentage points.
But it's not unheard of for losing candidates to close an election cycle with significant money left in their campaign accounts— then-North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp ended her unsuccessful 2018 re-election bid with $6.5 million in cash on hand, while Maine Democrat Sara Gideon finished 2020 with $11.6 million when she failed to defeat Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
While those still in office use their leftover cash to fund their political organization and gear up for the next bid, those who lose still have broad leeway in how they can use their leftover money. While they can't use the money on personal expenses, they can transfer cash to other candidates, PACs or political parties, donate the money to charity, or use the money for another campaign or political purpose.