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Al Sharpton's failed 2004 presidential campaign still owes nearly $1 million in debt


How has this not been paid over the last 15-plus years?

Andrew Burton/Getty Image

The Rev. Al Sharpton's failed 2004 presidential campaign still owes a substantial amount of debt.

Despite the unsuccessful campaign ending more than 15 years ago, Sharpton's bid to win the Democratic nomination incurred a lot of debt — more than $900,000 of which remains unpaid today, the New York Post reported.

The actual figure stands at $925,713.78 as of Jan. 31, Federal Election Commission documents showed.

"If committees are unable to pay debts, they can file a debt-settlement plan with the FEC ... committees could not just decide not to pay," an FEC spokesperson told the Post.

However, Sharpton himself is not legally responsible for the debt, according to the Post. Instead, his campaign committee — Sharpton 2004 — and its treasurer, Andrew Rivera, are the legally liable entities.

In response, Sharpton told the Post that he is good for the outstanding debt.

"I have asked Andrew Rivera, the finance chair of my 2004 campaign, to set up a meeting with the Federal Election Commission so that I can resolve any campaign debts related to Sharpton 2004," Sharpton told the Post. "I am willing to work out a settlement for all claims with my own money to the degree that I'm allowed and will raise money directly."

"Even if I am not legally liable for it, I am certainly morally responsible," he added.

Sharpton's campaign problems have not been exclusively debt-related. His campaign committee reached a settlement with the FEC in 2009 to pay $285,000 in civil penalties for numerous campaign finance violations.

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