But her plea doesn't square with the end-of-year finance report she submitted recently to the Federal Election Commission, which showed her campaign having almost $25,000 left over.
Campaign finance experts say it's possible Ms. McKinney could have late-arriving bills that didn't show up before the report was filed. But because Ms. McKinney lost in a primary runoff in August, that would be an unusually long lag.
As of Friday afternoon, Ms. McKinney's Web site said the campaign owes nearly $60,000 and has raised $7,086.
Ms. McKinney's report, submitted Jan. 29, shows the campaign having $60,842 in the bank as of Dec. 31, with $35,080 in debt - for a bottom-line surplus of $24,762.
Ms. McKinney's former campaign manager, Brenda Clemons, said she did not know the reason for the discrepancy.
Ms. McKinney was traveling and could not be reached this week.
Candidates frequently file amended reports with the commission, often months after the original deadline. Ms. McKinney filed six such amendments last year, according to the commission's Web site. It is also not unusual for congressional candidates to incur debt from their campaigns.