PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Lincoln Chafee spent $2.5 million to win election as governor of Rhode Island. Frank Caprio spent even more to lose.
Chafee, Caprio, John Robitaille and Ken Block spent a combined $6.3 million on their gubernatorial campaigns from early 2009 through this month, according to final campaign finance reports filed Tuesday and analyzed by WPRI.com.
A total of $5.2 million was spent by Chafee and Caprio alone. The figures only cover direct spending by the candidates' campaigns and don't include expenditures by outside organizations like political parties and political action committees.
Caprio, a Democrat, spent $2.7 million on his campaign only to come in a distant third after his candidacy capsized in the final weeks of the race.
Caprio's report showed he spent just over $300,000 in the contest's waning days, when he was on the defense for telling President Barack Obama he could "take his endorsement and really shove it."
Republican Robitaille spent only $603,833, some of which came from public matching funds, yet finished a strong second after he surged past Caprio late in the game.
Moderate Ken Block - who came in a distant fourth, but did manage to crack the 5 percent mark required to keep his party on the ballot - spent $500,709, almost as much as Robitaille.
More than half the $2.5 million that Chafee spent came out of his family bank account. The independent former senator loaned his campaign $1.61 million over the course of the race, the report showed.
Caprio, by contrast, did not tap into any personal funds but relied instead on donations from supporters. His final report showed no outstanding loans.
Caprio also had the least amount of money left in his campaign war chest when all was said and done, though all four candidates drained thier accounts.
Caprio finished the campaign with $2,591 in cash on hand. Robitaille had $7,106 in cash as of Nov. 29; Block had $9,006; and Chafee had $13,945.
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