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In campaign's final weeks, Romney raised nearly $86 million

December 06, 2012|By Melanie Mason and Joseph Tanfani
  • GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney raised almost $86 million in the campaign's final two weeks.
GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney raised almost $86 million in the campaign's… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney raised more than $85.9 million in the last two weeks of the presidential race, his campaign announced Thursday, detailing the GOP hopeful’s final money push in his ultimately unsuccessful bid against President Obama. 

“Romney Victory continued its strong fundraising through the final weeks of the campaign,” finance chairman Spencer Zwick said in a statement. “Every dollar we raised was put to use in the effort to elect Mitt Romney. I want to thank all of our donors for their support and in making the Romney fundraising effort the most successful in Republican Party history."

More details on the campaign’s late fundraising and spending are expected later Thursday, as finance reports are due to the Federal Election Commission. The reports cover Oct. 18 though Nov. 26.

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The Obama campaign has not yet released its final tally for the final weeks. Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee between the campaign and the Democratic National Committee, reported raising $47 million, but the take of the campaign’s primary account is not yet public. The nearly $86-million haul for Team Romney marks the combined fundraising of the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee.

The campaign still had $24.4 million in the bank as of Nov. 26. The Romney campaign, in a statement, noted that the cash-on-hand figure did not account for spending that was still in process as the campaign wound down. The campaign predicted the final cash surplus would be less than $1 million.

It was a lucrative end to the campaign for Romney’s unaffiliated backers as well. Restore Our Future, the “super PAC” founded by former Romney aides, scooped up $22.1 million in the same period, according to its FEC filing.

Nearly half of that came from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who donated $5 million apiece. In all, the Adelsons gave $30 million to the pro-Romney group during the election. They poured tens of millions more to a lengthy roster of conservative super PACs and nonprofits — a cascade of money that made the couple this cycle’s most high-profile GOP donors.

Restore Our Future also netted 11th-hour checks from Lawrence Ellison, the chief executive of Oracle Corp., who gave $3 million to the group in October: $2 million on Oct. 19, and an additional $1 million five days later. The checks were by far the biggest bet on a federal election by Ellison, according to FEC records. Until then, he had given about $300,000 total since 1997, split between Democrats and Republicans.

Other $1-million checks came from Robert McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, and the Renco Group, an investment firm owned by the billionare Ira Rennert. Bob Barker, former host of “The Price is Right” game show, gave $174,200.

The money helped underwrite a closing ad blitz for the group, which spent $41.6 million on television, online and direct mail advertising opposing Obama in the final weeks of the campaign. In all, the super PAC spent $153 million in its attempt to boost Romney’s candidacy. 

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melanie.mason@latimes.com

@melmason

joseph.tanfani@latimes.com

@jtanfani

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