World & Nation

Ryan will offer to refund donations to his campaign

Jack Ryan
Divorce file unsealed
Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jack Ryan’s ex-wife, TV actress Jeri Ryan, accused him of taking her to sex clubs, according to records released from the couple’s divorce file. Jack Ryan denied the allegations when they were made in 2000.
(Tribune photo by Candice C. Cusic)
Tribune staff reporter

Former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jack Ryan will inform donors to his general election campaign early next week that he will offer to refund their contributions, aides to Ryan said Tuesday.

Jason Miller, who managed Ryan’s campaign, said Ryan had raised about $1.5 million since winning the Republican nomination for the Senate in Illinois’ March 16 primary. The campaign expects about half of the donors to request refunds, based on calls Ryan has made in recent days to members of his finance committee, Miller said.

Ryan, who dropped out of the race Friday after the court-ordered release of portions of his divorce file sparked a controversy among Republicans, will “dip into his own pockets” to pay for anything that cannot be paid from the campaign fund after bills and staff are paid, Miller said.

The campaign is finalizing severance packages, primarily for longtime staff members who began working for Ryan before the March primary, Miller said.

“Jack’s committed to reaching into his own pocket to make sure that everyone in the campaign is paid,” Miller said. Staff members are being helped with applications for jobs, he said, and Ryan will pay any longtime staff members through November if they are unable to find jobs. Ryan “doesn’t want anyone to worry about where their rent money is coming from.”

State Republican leaders have said it could take three weeks to replace Ryan with another candidate. Two former federal prosecutors will scrutinize potential candidates. The Illinois Republican State Central Committee will select a replacement.

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