May 23--HELENA -- Some Republican U.S. House candidates are doubling down on their races with large personal loans, the latest Federal Election Commission reports show.
The reports cover campaign fundraising and expenses from April 1 through May 14.
State Sen. Matt Rosendale, R-Glendive, has lent his campaign an additional $500,000 to bring his personal loans to his campaign to $1 million.
Former state Sen. Corey Stapleton, R-Billings, lent his campaign $200,000. It's the first loan he's made to his campaign.
Loans from candidates to their campaigns don't have to be repaid.
State Sen. Ryan Zinke still leads the House Republican candidates in fundraising efforts with total collections of nearly $1.2 million. He has made no personal contributions or loans to this campaign.
Rosendale's latest loan brought him to total contributions of $1.17 million, of which $1 million comes from his loans.
Stapleton's fundraising total for the campaign is now at about $616,000. That includes his $200,000 loan and a personal donation of about $20,000 to his campaign.
Five candidates are seeking the Republican nomination, while two are vying for the Democratic bid.
As of Friday morning, the Gazette State Bureau had not received reports from Republican candidates state Sen. Elsie Arntzen of Billings and Drew Turiano of Helena or Democratic candidate John Lewis of Helena. The other Democratic candidate, John Driscoll of Helena, has not yet spent the $5,000 necessary to file a federal report.
A key number as the June 3 primary approaches is how much money the candidates have in cash on hands, the funds they can from for final advertising and other expenses.
Here were their totals on May 14: Rosedale, $151,147; Zinke, $150,700; Stapleton, $58,688.
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