Republicans Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who face tight runoff elections in Georgia Tuesday, have received a late boost in donations from the real estate and finance industries.
Your Democratic challengers, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, have otherwise seen a fundraising lead in the races that will determine whether Democrats or the GOP will have a lead in the Senate.
Wall Street donors are contributing to Perdue and Loeffler over fear a Democratic Senate could help President-elect Joe Biden impose tighter regulations on the financial industry, a GOP strategist with banking clients said. This person declined to be named in order to speak freely.
Biden plans to collect taxes on businesses and families that earn more than $ 400,000.
Mike Novogratz, a longtime outside finance manager who has been helping the two Georgia Democrats in Georgia, previously suggested that Wall Street Democratic donors may not be able to provide much help to Warnock and Ossoff.
“It’s going to be a money war,” Novogratz told CNBC in November after none of the candidates got 50% in their election, resulting in a runoff election. “That means a lot of Wall Streeters like the divided government,” he added.
The financial community’s great contributions to the two Republican candidates mark a move away from the presidential election, when these donors combined invested over $ 74 million in Biden’s presidential run. Many abandoned Trump’s offer for re-election and his subsequent legal efforts to overthrow the election.
All of the money that goes into the campaigns and outside political action committees has resulted in television advertising spending of nearly $ 490 million since Nov. 4, according to Ad Impact. According to Ad Impact, over $ 100 million has been spent on television advertising for the two races since December 28.
Perdue, who lagged behind his rival Ossoff between October and mid-December, recently saw a surge in support from finance and real estate executives. At least 30 executives in these industries have donated between $ 1,000 and the maximum campaign contribution of $ 2,800 to Perdue, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Perdue was scrutinized for a number of stock deals that intermittently coincided with Congressional briefings while on key Senate committees. Perdue has denied wrongdoing. The New York Times reported in November that some of Perdue’s businesses were the focus of an investigation by the Justice Department. Perdue’s team said at the time that the Department of Justice was “clearing Senator Perdue of all wrongdoing.”
The hedge fund founder, John Paulson, donated $ 2,800 to Perdue’s campaign on December 14. Paulson became famous during the financial crisis for shorting out the real estate market.
Randal Nardone, co-founder of investment firm Fortress, gave Perdue $ 2,800 that same day. Fortress manages nearly $ 50 billion in assets.
Edward Mule, the CEO of investment firm Silver Point Capital, gave Perdue $ 5,600 on December 22nd. On the same day, Richard Kent Long, senior vice president of the private prison group GEO Group, gave Perdue $ 1,000.
Other major donors from these industries to Perdue include Neal Aronson, founder and managing partner of private equity firm Roark Capital; Clifford Asness, co-founder of AQR Capital Management hedge fund; Glenn August, CEO of investment firm Oak Hill Advisors; Steve Witkoff, CEO of real estate giant Witkoff Group, and John Lehman, chairman of investment firm JF Lehman & Company.
Jane Goldman, who heads Solil Management real estate company, gave $ 2,800 to Perdue and Loeffler over the last two weeks of December. Forbes says Goldman is worth $ 3 billion.
The Loeffler campaign recently received at least a dozen contributions from executives in similar positions. She is married to Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange. According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, Spokesman gave a pro-Loeffler Super-PAC $ 10 million in 2020.
Loeffler himself was screened for a number of stock deals at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in the couple selling all of their individual stocks.
At the end of December, Robert Grammig, partner in the law firm Holland & Knight, gave Loeffler $ 2,800. Grammig specializes in mergers and acquisitions as well as corporate governance.
Jared Yavers, an executive at Yellow Cab Holdings, donated $ 2,500 to Loeffler’s campaign on December 21. Yellow Cab is a real estate investment firm.
Thomas Hauske Jr., chairman of the board of directors at Marshall Street Capital in Wisconsin, donated $ 2,500 to Loeffler’s campaign two days later.
The Democrats Warnock and Ossoff received their own donations from the real estate and finance industries, albeit at a lower price than their Republican opponents. Between the two Democrats, they have teamed up to get support from nearly two dozen finance and housing managers in the final stages of the race.
Karen Pritzker, an investor and billionaire in the Pritzker family’s fortune, gave Ossoff $ 2,800 on December 23, records show. Pritzker’s family office helped finance LaunchCapital, a start-up mutual fund.
Alan Pardee, managing partner at Valor Equity Partners, gave Ossoff $ 1,000 on the same day.
George Van Amson, a longtime director of Morgan Stanley, donated $ 1,000 to Warnock’s campaign on December 14.
Representatives from all four campaigns did not respond to requests for comment.