(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer became the first 2012 contender eligible to receive matching funds from the Federal Election Commission, according to a statement from the FEC Friday.
Eligibility is based on candidates raising $100,000 through collections of $5,000 in 20 different states in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual. Having reached the benchmarks, the Roemer campaign is able to receive $100,000 from the United States Treasury and submit additional contributions for matching funds each month.
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According to the FEC, documents filed by the former Louisiana governor's campaign, which launched in July, show he reached the threshold in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The FEC said Roemer is the only candidate they are aware of that has requested matching funds.
Carlos Sierra, Roemer's campaign manager, said the influx of cash into their roughly $30,000 per month budget will impact their operation considerably.
"We were just waiting for these funds because obviously it changes things for us," Sierra said, adding they will focus their energies in the early voting states of Arizona and Michigan in the short term.
The Treasury may begin allocating funds to candidates starting this month with primary candidates able to receive a maximum of $22.8 million. If candidates choose to accept the funds, they must also agree to an overall spending limit and limits in each state.
In 2008, then-candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did not accept matching funds in the primary or general election, opting instead to raise more independently. However, Obama's general election rival and GOP nominee Sen. John McCain accepted the funds during the primary.
While former President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry rejected the public funds during the primary campaign in 2004, they accepted the over $74 million during the general election campaign.