Watkins forgives his own loans to campaign

Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS)
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Freshman Republican Congressman Steve Watkins of Kansas has forgiven $225,100 in loans he made to his 2018 campaign, according to a letter filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The Kansas City Star reports Watkins had given his campaign nearly half a million dollars in loans during the seven-way GOP primary for an open eastern Kansas congressional seat.

Watkins' loans represented a substantial amount of his declared wealth at the time, which was somewhere between $440,053 and $2.7 million, according to required personal financial disclosure forms. Federal campaign finance rules allow candidates to lend unlimited amounts of their own money to their campaigns and to forgive the loans.

Watkins' father, Steven Watkins Sr., contributed more than $765,000 to a super political action committee to help his son win the primary.