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U.S. Senate candidate transfers leftover funds to his state senate campaign

Veteran state Sen. Dan Webster dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate on Friday and said he would instead seek re-election to his central Florida seat.

Webster said he decided Friday, the qualifying deadline for U.S. Senate candidates, that he would have more influence in the Legislature than he would in Washington. He said he wasn't daunted by bad poll numbers, that had him trailing behind the other Republicans in the race. ...

Deutsch and Penelas lead in fund-raising, with Federal Elections Commission records showing them both having raised about $2.9 million through the end of March. On the Republican side, Byrd and McCollum have also topped $2 million. By contrast, Webster had raised $782,000 through the same period, and had spent more than a half million, leaving him with only about $270,000 in the bank, FEC records show.

Although new federal campaign finance law on the matter isn't completely clear, transferring the money to a state Senate campaign isn't one of the generally accepted items the money could be spent on, said FEC spokesman Bob Biersak.

Leftover federal campaign money generally must be spent on leftover campaign expenses, given to a political party or donated to charity. -- Florida state senator dropping out of U.S. Senate race (AP via USATODAY.com)