Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has reduced the size of her presidential campaign debt to less than $7.5 million as of Nov. 1, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.
The documents show Clinton raised nearly $690,000 in October, a minor sum compared with the $218 million she amassed in her failed presidential bid.
Of the $7.5 million owed to vendors, nearly $5.4 million was to her former adviser and pollster, Mark Penn. Clinton owed vendors a high of $12 million at the end of June. That was the month she abandoned her presidential campaign and ceded the Democratic nomination to now President-elect Barack Obama.
The amount she owes Penn has been her longest outstanding debt.
She also lent herself nearly $13.2 million. Under federal law Clinton can only repay herself $250,000 with private donations. The report also showed that she had nearly $1 million cash on hand at the end of October.
Obama is considering Clinton for secretary of state. As a Cabinet member Clinton would face fundraising restrictions to retire her vendor debt.
A 2001 advisory opinion by the federal Office of Special Counsel said a federal employee who still had a campaign debt would be prohibited from “personally soliciting, accepting or receiving political contributions.”
Clinton could name an agent from her campaign committee to continue to organize and hold fundraising events to retire the debt. Clinton would be limited to attending a fundraising event and simply stating her appreciation to donors.