Walker raised almost $7.4 million in 71-day campaign, still owes taxpayers

Former presidential candidate spent $1.9 million on staff alone

By Emma Palasz, The Badger Herald 

Despite the millions he raised, Walker still owes Wisconsin taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars after his failed presidential campaign.

Throughout his 71-day campaign, Walker raised almost $7.4 million, $5.4 million of which he ended up spending, the Associated Press reported. 

Walker’s biggest expense was paying his 90-member campaign staff, which amounted to a total of $1.9 million, according to campaign finance reports he filed to the Federal Election Commission.

Walker said he owed about $161,000, AP reported.

State Democrats have been calling for Walker to pay back taxpayers for his campaign expenses, and in particular, his travel expenses to foreign countries.

Laurel Patrick, Walker spokesperson, said in a statement those expenses were to help stimulate the international economy, wbay.com reported.

“These trade missions were official trips and allowed our delegation to make a strong case to overseas companies about why they should consider establishing new operations in Wisconsin or providing additional capital to help Wisconsin businesses,” Patrick said in the statement.

Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, said in a statement Walker had paid back taxpayers $57,863 of the $125,000 he owed as of Oct. 8.

Shankland, along with Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, recently unveiled legislation to promote taxpayer transparency.

Walker said Wednesday he will not run for president again during his term as governor, a position he holds until 2018.