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Gingrich campaign $4.3 million in debt

Gingrich campaign $4.3 million in debt

(CNN) — Newt Gingrich’s struggling bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is more than $4 million in debt, according to federal fund-raising figures for March the campaign submitted to the government Friday.

Of the $4.3 million in debt Gingrich reported on forms filed with the Federal Election Commission, nearly $272,000 was money the candidate loaned his own campaign. The loan was billed as “travel” on the filing report.

The documents show the former House speaker’s campaign raised $1.7 million in March, a month that saw Gingrich’s chances of becoming the GOP nominee look increasingly slim.

Gingrich won Georgia, the state he represented in Congress for 20 years, on March 6, but failed to win another state for the remainder of the month. In January, Gingrich took South Carolina’s first-in-the-South primary.

The fund-raising figures showed the candidate spent $2 million in March, and ended the month with $1.2 million cash on hand. That represents a drop in Gingrich’s war chest: he began March with $1.5 million in the bank.

In February, Gingrich reported raising $2.6 million. He said in his filing with the FEC that his campaign owed $1.6 million in debt at the end of February. The debt the campaign reported Friday includes carryover from earlier months.

At the end of March, Gingrich announced he was laying off staff and revising his campaign to focus on a low-cost communication strategy. His plan at the time was to convince delegates to August’s Republican National Convention that he would be the best candidate to face President Barack Obama in the general election.