Blunt holds onto $1.23 million in campaign funds

Thursday, September 25, 2008 | 9:04 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt said he's not ruling out another run for public office, and to that end, will not close his campaign accounts. Blunt has more than $1.23 million on hand from his previous campaign.

At a news conference at the Capitol on Thursday, Blunt said while he has no definite plans for January, running for another office isn't out of the question.

"Every citizen has the opportunity to run for office, and I would definitely count myself in the group of citizens," Blunt said.

The main difference between the governor and the average citizen is the $1.23 million he has available, were he to campaign for public office again.

While he hasn't ruled out running for office, he didn't say he had his eye set on any specific position.

Jack Cardetti, spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party, said Blunt holding on to the dollars he raised in his campaign instead of returning them to donors is about making a statement.

"I think holding on to that money and having that money at his disposal is probably an attempt for Gov. Blunt to remain relevant far after he's politically relevant in most people's eyes," he said.

Blunt also said he might donate some of his remaining campaign funds to candidates who share his values and stances on the issues. To date, he hasn't given away any of his remaining funds. This includes Kenny Hulshof's campaign for governor.

However, Scott Baker, spokesman for the Hulshof campaign, said the campaign wouldn't turn away any funding the governor chose to donate.

Hulshof "has made it very clear that if the governor decides to give the Hulshof campaign some funds, we would welcome those. But it's the governor's campaign money, and he has the prerogative to do with those funds as he sees fit."

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