Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Steve Russell ends 2014 with little campaign cash, lots of debt
by Chris Casteel

WASHINGTON — Freshman Rep. Steve Russell, an Oklahoma City Republican, wound up more than $177,000 in the hole after winning his first campaign for Congress last year, as his year-end debts far surpassed his cash.

Russell reported to the Federal Election Commission that he had $2,336 in cash at the end of December and $179,847 in debts, mostly to campaign consultants.

According to the FEC, Russell raised nearly $848,000 in 2014 as he came out the ultimate victor in a crowded field of Republicans hoping to replace Rep. James Lankford in Congress. Russell beat former Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas in a runoff before defeating Democrat Al McAffrey and three independents in the general election.

Though Russell has a challenge in retiring the debt and building a campaign war chest, he’s in a safe seat and, barring something unexpected, is unlikely to draw serious opposition.

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