Campaign cash flowing both ways for Baker

Gov. Charlie Baker gives an address at the State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gov. Charlie Baker gives an address at the State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Giving to a political candidate always carries risk. Maybe they'll lose. Maybe they'll disappoint once in office. But what if they don't run at all?

As Gov. Charlie Baker was considering his political future late last year, he returned to the in-person fundraising circuit to collect checks just in case. But at the start of December, he shared that he had decided two terms were enough.

Now some of those donors who had hoped they were replenishing his coffers for another run are looking for a refund. Baker has begun to spend down his campaign account as he navigates his final year in office, and in January reported spending $120,199. After some staff travel expenses and payroll, the governor reported $70,925 in contribution refunds.

He also gave $15,000 to the Camp Harbor View Foundation, a summer camp for Boston teens.

Baker political advisor Jim Conroy confirmed that the bulk of the refunds were to donors who asked for their money back after Baker decided against seeking a third term. Conroy said the campaign sent out a solicitation advising donors that they could get a refund if they wished.

Still, Baker reported collecting $12,800 from 31 donors in January, leaving him with $624,262.



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