GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Royce White Owes More Than $100K Child Support

Glen Stubbe/Getty Images
Glen Stubbe/Getty Images

When NBC News reported last month on Minnesota Senate hopeful Royce White’s history of ignoring child support obligations, he shot back, “All you liberals really just want to shame people with kids, because you’re anti-human as fuck. That’s it. I love my children. And I’m current on my child support.”

According to financial statements provided by the mother of one of White’s children, however, White owes her more than $100,000 in child support payments for a daughter with whom he is barely involved.

“Thank God I don’t rely on his support or it would be impossible,” the woman told The Daily Beast, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The woman’s claims—together with financial statements, court filings, and the sparse personal financial disclosure White filed after he ran for Congress in 2022—paint a picture of a candidate who has repeatedly failed to pay or disclose tens of thousands of dollars in debts.

The revelation is just the latest in a series of financial issues revealed after White last month won the endorsement of the Minnesota Republican Party to be its candidate for U.S. Senate against the incumbent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), in November.

The mother of White’s daughter shared images from Minnesota’s online child support portal showing White owes her $100,086.82, having made just one payment this year—$523.91, earlier this month.

His debt appears to have slightly increased: A receipt for a $740.04 payment the day before White’s 2022 congressional primary shows a balance of $99,058.96.

White appears to have racked up much of the child support debt when he failed to adjust payments on his nearly $133,000 monthly salary while playing basketball with the Houston Rockets more than a decade ago.

White denied the woman’s claims, telling The Daily Beast, “I’m current on child support payments” in her case, as well as in a case with a second woman in which White was found in contempt in April.

White claimed that court records show he actually overpaid child support but did not provide those records. Court filings in Hennepin County show that White’s “overpayments” likely relate to an additional 20 percent “purge payments” the court added to his monthly obligations since 2018 in lieu of jail time for nonpayment. In September 2022, the court found that White had indeed overpaid those “purge payments,” but, even then, the court stated that in six months he would have to continue paying 120 percent of his monthly obligation until the arrears were paid off.

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White argued that this month’s $523.91 payment was just fulfilling his total obligation and that he’d made additional payments. But he did not provide evidence for that claim.

The mother of his daughter disputed White’s assertion that he is “current,” telling The Daily Beast that could only be true if he cleared his arrears or made regular payments for 12 months. She provided statements showing that prior to this month’s installment, White’s most recent payment came last August, at $738.76. He paid her a total of about $8,200 that year, the statements show.

White attempted to strike a new arrears payment arrangement with the woman last summer, she said, after he tried to buy a car and was denied credit. She provided text messages from this month—dated June 3—in which White told her he finally had that agreement “lined up.” The woman asked White in a text message to sign and file the paperwork within seven days, but she told The Daily Beast on Wednesday he had not done so and his lawyers were unresponsive. She said she would not sign the agreement after the blown deadline.

The same year White overpaid his purge payments, his congressional campaign was splurging tens of thousands of dollars in apparently personal expenses—including a Miami strip club, posh hotels and limos, and numerous clothing and lifestyle retailers.

Last week, a campaign finance complaint accused White of “outrageous” illegal spending. The complaint cited around $157,000 in suspicious payments, which in addition to the seemingly personal expenses include mysterious wire transfers, cash withdrawals, and checks reported as paid to the campaign, which White now tells The Daily Beast were for “very, very common, commonly used vendors in the political industry.”

White’s $523.91 child support payment this month came as a professional three-on-three basketball league that he plays in—the “Big3”—launched its season. The mother said the only money she has recently seen from White came out of his seasonal Big3 paychecks, estimating she would get between $700 and $1,100 a week for the two-month season—sums that account for his mandated obligation and the additional 20 percent “purge payments.” White, she said, has also paid lump sums under the threat of jail, claiming the court threatened him with arrest three times.

“I just find it really interesting that he can come up with money like that, when you’re about to get arrested magically you make money appear,” the woman said.

The woman also said White was not involved in their daughter’s life, claiming he avoids her and often leaves when she visits her half-siblings at his house. He recently missed her eighth-grade graduation, the mother said, showing up an hour late.

“Now he’s out there talking about family values,” she told The Daily Beast, of White’s Republican run for Senate.

White’s personal financial disclosure for his 2022 congressional bid listed just two liabilities, described as “child support” to two different women, each valued between $10,000 and $15,000. House ethics rules do not require disclosure of child support received, but appear silent on debts. At the time, White owed as much as ten times that amount to at least one of the mothers. The other woman did not respond to The Daily Beast.

White’s 2022 disclosure—dated May 24, 2023, a year late—does not list other debts, nor does it list any assets or interest-bearing bank accounts. It’s possible White omitted debts from the report: another case, also ongoing in 2022, found he owed more than $83,000 to an Iowa corporation after missing lease and other payments for an Audi A8, a Jeep Wrangler, and a Cadillac Escalade. In that case, White was ordered to appear before the court in the summer of 2022, when he was running for Congress. The hearing was canceled and the case is now closed. It is unclear from court records how the matter was resolved.

Filings in a separate tenant dispute show White was evicted in February 2022 after he failed to pay rent, even after receiving more than $41,000 in federally funded pandemic rent relief. He launched his congressional campaign that month. Last year, a judgment found that White owed that landlord more than $15,000.

Kedrick Payne, vice president and senior director of ethics at the Campaign Legal Center—the transparency advocacy group that filed the complaint against White last week—told The Daily Beast that White’s disclosures run an additional criminal risk.

If White misrepresented his child support or other debts and assets on his personal financial disclosure, Payne said, “You’re dealing with potential civil and criminal penalties for filing a report with false information.” (One of the federal criminal charges against former Rep. George Santos (R-NY).)

Payne said White’s apparently belated filing denied voters key information.

“The whole purpose of the filing requirements is for the public to know what are the financial interests before the election,” he said. “That’s the whole point.”

White has yet to file a personal financial disclosure for his Senate bid, as he was required to do by this spring.

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The Minnesota GOP endorsed White last month in a landslide decision that nonetheless came with reservations, including concerns about personal debt. Reached for comment, Minnesota GOP chair David Hann said he couldn’t talk and hung up. He did not respond to a follow-up text. After The Daily Beast reported on White’s eye-popping campaign spending last month, Hann told Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP there were no plans to rescind the endorsement.

White did not respond to texted questions about his debts, personal financial disclosure, or his relationship with his daughter.

“I don’t think The Daily Beast is credible,” he said when reached by phone, before hanging up.

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