April 20, 2014

Former gubernatorial candidate Olson to return donors’ money

The Democrat who ended his bid for governor last month raised about $330,000 for his campaign in 2013.

State Representative Tyler Olson of Cedar Rapids dropped out of the race last month, soon after announcing he and his wife were divorcing. Olson’s campaign finance report shows about a third of that money was left in the bank at the end of the year. His single largest donation of $100,000 came from AFSCME when the state employees union endorsed him.

Olson told The Cedar Rapids Gazette he intends to return unspent campaign money to donors. Iowa law would have allowed Olson to turn the money over to the Iowa Democratic Party, to the State of Iowa, or to a charity.

Earlier this week Des Moines Democrat Jack Hatch, a state senator who has been running for governor since this summer, announced he’d raised about $447,000 for his campaign. Some of that money came from Hatch himself. Hatch — a property developer — loaned his campaign $140,000.