Romney gives own money to election effort

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his wife Ann have each chipped in $75,000 to help his effort to beat U.S. President Barack Obama in the November 6 election, a source with Romney’s campaign said on Friday.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks to supporters during a campaign rally in St. Petersburg, Florida, May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

The pair gave the money this month to a fund jointly used by the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee to help the candidate’s election bid.

This is the first known donation by Romney to his own election bid in this campaign. In 2008, Romney self-funded with more than $44 million toward his failed presidential run.

The sum of $75,000 is the maximum donation allowed from an outside donor, although Romney himself could give an unlimited amount to his own campaign.

Fundraisers for the Romney campaign said they saw the Romneys’ donation as symbolic, showing the candidate and his wife were willing to have the same amount of skin in the game as he is asking of his donors.

Romney went through a heated and draining Republican primary season until most of his opponents withdrew in recent weeks. He had been heavily lagging behind Obama’s fundraising until last month when he joined forces with the national party.

In April, the amount of cash raised by Romney nearly matched Obama’s, as he brought in $40.1 million for his campaign and for the RNC while Obama raised $43.6 million for his campaign and the Democratic Party.

Campaigns can take only $2,500 per contribution during the primary process and another $2,500 per contribution for the general election, although candidates themselves can use unlimited personal funds.

With a joint effort, a donor can in addition give up to $70,800 to the RNC and its local, state and district branches.

Obama, facing no challengers within his party, has been jointly fundraising with the Democratic Party for months.

(The story is corrected to say donation came in May, not April in 2nd paragraph)

Editing by Kenneth Barry