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This Florida Dem Wants Taxpayers To Cover His $10K in Student Debt

Eric Lynn, who holds student debt from law school, says loan forgiveness 'is the right thing to do'

Eric Lynn / Flickr.com
• May 25, 2022 4:59 am

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A Democrat running for Congress in Florida thinks the Biden administration has found the perfect amount of student debt to cancel—$10,000, which happens to be how much student debt he holds.

In August, former Obama campaign adviser Eric Lynn said he "stand[s] with President Biden's plan to forgive up to $10,000 per student" as "student debt loan forgiveness is the right thing to do." Ten months later, the Democrat filed a financial disclosure that shows he would personally benefit from the policy. According to the disclosure, Lynn holds between $10,000 and $15,000 in unpaid federal student loans from his time at Georgetown Law School.

Lynn's call to have taxpayers cover his student loan debt could backfire in his race to succeed Democratic congressman Charlie Crist in Florida's 13th Congressional District. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, canceling up to $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower would cost the government $245 billion, a bill the American public would eventually foot. Top Florida Republicans are already running against the proposal—Governor Ron DeSantis in April called it "wrong" to "make a truck driver or a waitress or a construction worker" help pay off postgraduate student debt such as Lynn's.

Lynn did not return a request for comment.

As a presidential candidate, Biden promised to cancel all undergraduate student debt for those who went to a public college or university and earn less than $125,000. After his inauguration, however, the Biden administration pushed Congress to cancel $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers. According to federal data reviewed by the Brookings Institution, 56 percent of outstanding student debt "is owed by households that hold graduate degrees."

Following his time at Georgetown Law, Lynn served as a national security adviser on former president Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. According to his financial disclosure, Lynn now runs a strategic consulting business, Lynn Strategies LLC. The Democrat appears to be more than able to pay off his law school debt without the federal government's help—his disclosure lists hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial holdings, as well as a Washington, D.C., condo worth up to $1,000,000. Should Biden limit student debt relief to those earning less than $125,000, Lynn could still be eligible. The Democrat reported earning $120,000 in 2021.

Lynn will almost certainly be the Democratic nominee to replace Crist, as two of his top primary opponents left the race last week. Florida's new redistricting maps, however, will make Lynn's general election campaign a difficult one. Those maps split St. Petersburg in a way that makes Crist's 13th district more solidly red.

This is not Lynn's first congressional bid. The Democrat ran against Crist in a 2016 primary but dropped out in favor of a state House campaign, which also saw him fail to progress to the general election.