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Newt Gingrich Defends Utah Bounced Check

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(NEWARK, Del.) -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Wednesday defended the $500 bounced check his campaign submitted to the Utah elections office as payment for the fee to appear on the primary ballot.

“This is one of those goofy things,” Gingrich said after a campaign stop in Delaware. “That check was drawn in December. The account actually was closed by the time they processed it. It wasn’t a question of money. That particular bank account was closed.”

Utah elections director Mark Thomas attempted multiple times to contact the campaign about the bad check and said that if the matter isn’t resolved by April 20, Gingrich will be disqualified from the ballot, ABC News reported Tuesday.

“I went back and checked and it was entirely a technical question of the bank being closed,” Gingrich said. “It wasn’t that we didn’t have the money in the bank but that particular account had been closed as they made a transition to a different bank on January 1,” Gingrich said.

The campaign had recently changed finance and accounting staff, although the designated agent who submitted the check, Wallace Woodruff “Woody” Hales, is still employed by the campaign, a source close to the campaign said.

Gingrich told ABC News, “They apparently have it all worked out.”

He confirmed that the campaign will post a little less than $4.5 million debt because of exponential spending in the Florida primary.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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