Newt Gingrich may have ended his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, but his journey to retire the $4.7 million in debt he piled up during his run is just beginning.
In a report provided to the Federal Election Commission on Saturday, the Gingrich campaign revealed that it had increased its total debt by $400,000 in April, despite having announced it had paid off $500,000 at the end of March.
Much of the new debt is owed to the candidate himself. The campaign shows debts owed to Gingrich for travel expenses increasing by $300,000 in April.
In April, the campaign spent $1.2 million while raising a little more than $600,000. It ended the month with cash on hand of $806,950.
The biggest total debts continued to be two easily avoidable extravagances: private jets and private security. Moby Dick Airways, a jet rental company, is owed more than $1 million. The campaign told Fox News in May that it had paid down $500,000 on the private jet account. The campaign also owes the Patriot Group, a personal security service, more than $400,000. Yet Gingrich was receiving Secret Service protection from early March until late April.
Gingrich's campaign has been plagued by debt from the outset. The first report filed with the FEC, for April through June of 2011, showed debts of more than $1 million. That debt stayed largely static until March, when Gingrich attempted to bring his campaign back from the grave for the third time with hoped-for primary victories in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.
Gingrich won Georgia, but lost in Alabama and Mississippi to Rick Santorum. The effort to stay competitive with the superior fundraising power of Mitt Romney's campaign sent Gingrich's operation spiraling further into the red. The campaign piled up $2.7 million in debt in March alone.
The Romney campaign has recently agreed to give Gingrich access to its donor list to help him retire his debt, as it did for the failed campaign of Tim Pawlenty. That must have been welcome news to dozens of vendors who fear they will never see that bill paid.
This story has been updated to note the Gingrich campaign's cash on hand at the end of April.
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