Marilyn Roddy has been busy returning checks to donors in her Knoxville mayoral campaign, since she switched to the state senate race. But Roddy has some experience with the process. Roddy had no opponent when she ran for re-election to City Council in 2007—so she sent back the unused campaign contributions to donors.
Friends recall big campaign contributors like Jim Jennings being shocked to get a check back from a candidate, since it had never happened before.
Usually donations are kept in a fund for future races or for other allowable purposes.