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Biden-Harris: What happens to campaign funds if the ticket changes?

Biden
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Tennessee Witney

Vice President Kamala Harris has been a prominent figure in defending President Joe Biden after his troubling performance in the recent presidential debate, sparking discussions about her potential leadership if Biden were to step down. This situation raises questions about the handling of the substantial campaign funds amassed for the reelection.


Handling the campaign funds

The Biden-Harris campaign, along with allied Democratic organizations, reportedly holds about $240 million. If Biden were to withdraw, Harris, as a co-named candidate on the Federal Election Commission filings, could potentially use these funds for her own presidential campaign.


Can donors request refunds?

Donors do not automatically have the right to reclaim their contributions if there’s a change in candidates. The campaign must consent to any refunds, a scenario legal experts find unlikely to succeed in court.

What if neither Biden nor Harris is the nominee?

In such an event, the campaign must handle the funds according to specific regulations. Contributions for the primary election, which Biden won, would remain with the campaign. Any remaining funds could be transferred to another candidate, but only up to $2,000, as per campaign finance laws.


Potential conversion to a PAC

If neither Biden nor Harris continues in the race, the campaign could convert the funds to a super PAC or transfer them to the Democratic Party. However, this would involve certain limitations and higher costs for activities like broadcast advertising.

Other possible uses for the funds

Aside from direct political campaigning, the funds could support Democratic House and Senate candidates or future electoral campaigns. Alternatively, the money could be donated to charitable causes or fund initiatives aligned with the candidates’ political views.

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