RNC Is $23 Million in Debt, Says Chairman Reince Priebus

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: Wisconsin state party chairman Reince Priebus participates in a debate between chairmanship candidates of the Republican National Committee, co-sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform and the Daily Caller, at the National Press Club January 3, 2011 in Washington, DC. The members of the committee will vote on their choice for chairman during their winter meeting later this month. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

As Republicans and Democrats prepare for what is sure to be a contentious 2012 election cycle, the Republican National Committee finds itself $23 million in debt, committee chairman Reince Priebus announced on Monday.

Priebus said the RNC's year-end report would announce $21 million in debt for 2010, but that updated figures put the debt at approximately $23 million.

"While the year-end FEC report reveals the Republican National Committee is $21 million in debt, I believe it is best to get out all the facts as we know them associated with our financial position," Priebus said in a statement. "To date, the committee has approximately $23 million in debt: $15 million in loans, and $8 million owed to vendors."

According to the Washington Post, the $23 million estimate is significantly higher than was previously reported: An RNC financial report filed in the weeks following November's midterm elections listed a debt of $15 million, but in subsequent reports, covering the time period since, the known debt grew by a cumulative $8 million.

Priebus was elected RNC chair last month over Michael Steele, whose tenure helming the committee was marked by several scandals and charges of financial mismanagement.

In his statement, however, Priebus remained hopeful about the RNC's future.

"We have our work cut out for us, but I am confident we will succeed in turning around the RNC through hard work, transparency and honesty with our hardworking grassroots activists and donors," Priebus said.

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