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Democratic congressional candidate John Flora.

Flora pays himself back after winning 4% of the vote

By David Wildstein, August 18 2020 3:34 pm

John J. Flora has paid himself back all but $11 of a $5,000 personal loan he made to his forgettable bid for the U.S. House of Representatives.

It’s a commonly used trick in political campaigns: loan yourself money early as sort of an imaginary warchest, but then only spend other people’s money so it doesn’t cost the candidate anything.

A Jersey City public school teacher, Flora received slightly more  than 4% of the total vote in his challenge to Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) in New Jersey’s 10th district

Flora loaned $5,001 to his campaign in June 2019 and raised another $9,896 from other donors. He spent just enough to make sure that he got his own money back.

“My wife and I are forgiving a balance of $11.07 that we loaned the committee,” Flora told the Federal Election commission.

The first-time candidate, who launched his campaign by calling Peter Rodino a “career politician,” spent some of his campaign crowing that he had raised more money in small donations than Payne.

“A candidate’s approach to fundraising reveals a great deal about their responsiveness to constituents,” Flora said.

Payne won renomination with 88% of the vote, with Rutgers law professor Eugene Mazo finishing second with 8%.

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