Election 2018FeaturedNews

Darryl Glenn is paying himself a salary from congressional campaign funds

Author: Ernest Luning - June 15, 2018 - Updated: June 18, 2018

GOP-2016-Convention_Luni-20T.jpg
In this April 9, 2016, file photo, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn speaks at the Colorado Republican State Convention in Colorado Springs. On Monday, July 17, 2017, Glenn declared he was running for the 5th Congressional District held by Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Darryl Glenn, one of four Republicans challenging U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn in the June 26 primary, has been paying himself a salary out of campaign funds equal to what he makes as an El Paso County commissioner, according to campaign finance documents filed Thursday.

State Sen. Owen Hill, retired Texas judge Bill Rhea and former Green Mountain Falls Mayor Tyler Stevens are also running in the GOP primary for the Colorado Springs-based 5th Congressional District seat held by Lamborn since he was first elected in 2006.

A Federal Election Commission report shows that Glenn paid himself $22,418 in four installments from April 1 through June 6. Pro-rated, it’s the same as he makes as an elected commissioner, which pays $87,300 annually.

Glenn’s campaign raised $27,163 over the same period.

His campaign reported $97,690 in the bank at the end of the pre-primary reporting period, including $22,418 Glenn loaned his campaign — the same amount he had just paid himself.

“We’re entitled to it,” Glenn told Colorado Politics. “It’s all by the book and legit.”

The FEC allows candidates to pay themselves a salary while they’re running for the House, Senate or president, so long as they don’t pay themselves more than what they made before running for office or what they’d make if they are elected.

The practice is rare, but a Democrat running in the 2nd Congressional District seat, Mark Williams, paid himself $5,751 in April. (Williams started paying himself a salary late last year but returned the money to his campaign after Colorado Politics pointed out the FEC prohibits candidates from paying themselves a salary until they’ve qualified for the ballot.)

When they adopted the rule in 2002, FEC commissioners said it was to make it easier for people who aren’t wealthy to run for federal office.

Glenn hasn’t pocketed the money yet, however. Instead, he’s been loaning his campaign the same amount he’s paid himself.

“I’m exercising the right to do that, and I’m loaning 100 percent right back to the campaign,” he said.

It’s a complicated move that will allow Glenn to pay himself after the election, because campaigns can settle loans with funds that can’t be used for other types of payments.

Glenn said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll collect the money later, but wanted to have the option.

“If you decide to do it, you have to do it this way,” he said. “There’s strict rules on how you do that.”

Glenn tried something similar two years ago when he paid himself $70,815 after losing a run for the U.S. Senate, but the FEC made him return the money to his campaign fund.

Meanwhile, Glenn’s campaign paid more than $20,000 to family members for consulting work during the 10-week reporting period, something he’s been doing since he launched his congressional run last summer with the $232,545 left over from his Senate bid.

FEC records show Glenn paid his daughter, Ashley Glenn, $3,500 for social media consulting, and paid his wife’s son, Andrew Cruz, $2,000 for campaign consulting. He also paid a company owned by his wife, Jane Northrup, $15,000 for campaign consulting.

Over the reporting period, Glenn spent $113,745. Lamborn raised $60,560, spent $373,942 and had $271,613 on hand. Hill raised $73,730. He had $138,174 in the bank at the end of the period after spending $153,212. Rhea reported raising $37,050. He spent $56,004 and had $10,865 on hand, including $29,820 he loaned his campaign.

Stevens hadn’t filed a campaign finance report at press time.

Democrat Stephany Rose Spaulding is her party’s nominee for the seat.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.