As congressional leaders and President Obama negotiate over raising the debt ceiling, Senate candidate Jamie Radtke (R) has been a relentless critic of the federal government’s free-spending ways. On Friday, she reiterated that she was running for office because of the fiscal “ineptitude, mismanagement and irresponsibility” of the nation’s current leaders.
But it turns out that Radtke — the former Virginia Tea Party Patriots leader running to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D) — has some problems on her own balance sheet.
Last week, Radtke reported to the Federal Election Commission that she had raised $92,000 in the second quarter of the year, a fraction of what the two front-runners in the campaign did: Ex-senator George Allen (R) took in $1.1 million, while former governor Timothy M. Kaine (D) collected $2.25 million. Radtke spent $93,000 for the quarter, slightly more than she raised.
The larger problem for Radtke emerges further down in her report. As of June 30, she had $46,000 in the bank and $84,000 in debt. While about $6,000 of that total is money Radtke owes to herself for campaign expenses, roughly $70,000 is money she owes to various consulting firms.
Asked for comment, Radtke’s campaign turned its guns against Allen.
“Here are the facts: When this campaign is over, Jamie’s debt will be paid and gone,” said Radtke spokesman Chuck Hansen. “Meanwhile, the $3.1 trillion in debt George Allen voted for while senator is still on our books.”
It’s not uncommon for campaigns to owe money to vendors, but it’s relatively rare for candidates to have more debts than money in the bank. And given that Radtke isn’t nearly as well-known among Virginia voters as Allen is, it’s widely assumed in state political circles that she will have to improve her fundraising if she hopes to mount a strong challenge in the GOP primary.