Although many people may not remember, former Vice President Mike Pence ran a presidential campaign this election cycle.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) announced Friday Pence is eligible to receive taxpayer dollars to pay off debts from his defunct campaign.

“The FEC declared Mike Pence and his principal campaign committee eligible to receive public matching funds for Pence’s 2024 presidential campaign for the Republican Party nomination,” The FEC stated.

“Additionally, since Pence suspended his campaign for the nomination in October 2023, the Commission also initially determined that Pence’s Date of Ineligibility for the purpose of using public funds to seek the Republican presidential nomination is the date of the suspension,” The FEC stated in a press release.

From The FEC:

To become eligible for matching funds, candidates must raise a threshold amount of $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states. Although an individual may contribute up to $3,300 to a primary candidate in the current election cycle, only a maximum of $250 per individual applies toward the $5,000 threshold in each state.

Other requirements to be declared eligible include agreeing to an overall spending limit, abiding by spending limits in each state, using public funds only for legitimate campaign-related expenses, keeping financial records, and permitting an extensive campaign audit. Participation in the presidential public funding program is entirely voluntary and presidential candidates may opt not to participate.

With the Commission’s determination of Pence’s eligibility, he becomes the first 2024 presidential candidate to be declared eligible for public funding and the first since the 2016 election cycle, when two candidates qualified for and received matching funds. No candidates were approved for matching funds during the 2020 election.

“Democrat Martin O’Malley and the Green Party’s Jill Stein in 2016 were the last presidential contenders to receive the funds, according to the FEC’s data,” CNN noted.

“Former Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign committee was approved for a $100,000 payment from the U.S. Treasury,” The Epoch Times wrote.

Pence’s campaign had more than $1.3 million in outstanding debts at the end of March.

Per CNN:

The taxpayer funds can go toward helping to pay off those bills and winding down any remaining campaign operations. A Pence aide did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment Thursday.

Pence’s request for public money, first disclosed in documents released by the FEC earlier this week, underscored the financial difficulties his campaign faced as he tried, unsuccessfully, to mount a primary bid against his onetime boss, former President Donald Trump. In all, Pence’s campaign raised about $5.3 million.

Most major presidential candidates stopped seeking public, matching funds years ago – rather than comply with the program’s strict spending limits.

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