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Wall Street billionaires back Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary


Wall Street executives are pouring millions of dollars into the Republican primary race for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat — where veteran physician Dr. Mehmet Oz and former Bridgewater CEO Dave McCormick lead in the polls — making the primary one of the most expensive in the 2022 midterm elections.

During the first quarter, dozens of the men’s allies and close friends — current and former Wall Street CEOs and executives — have hosted fundraisers, directed contributions to their campaigns and donated directly to the candidates and political action committees supporting their bids, according to Federal Election Commission filings, invitations to private fundraisers, and interviews with people close to both men, some of whom asked not to be named in order to speak freely.

It is crucial that the race for retiring GOP Senator Pat Toomey, which could determine how the power balance in the chamber is determined. The current imbalance of power is equally divided between Republicans (Democrats) and Republicans. Cook Political Report deems the Senate seat a toss up. Real Clear Politics polls show McCormick ahead of Oz in Republican primaries.

This contest was supported by executives from Goldman Sachs and billionaire CEOs of Blackstone Group, Citadel and Citadel.

So far, more than $45million has been spent on radio, television and digital advertising In the GOP primary, AdImpact data shows that this is according to AdImpact. Each of McCormick, Oz, and Honor Pennsylvania, a super PAC supporting McCormick, spent more than $11 million to advertise in the primary. American Leadership Action, a comparable super PAC supporting Oz has only spent less than $3 million advertising in the primary.

Allies can use super PACs to support federal candidates. Campaigns don’t have control over the spending of their funds., Super PACs have the ability to raise unlimited amounts of money and support their favorite nominee.

Before they entered politics, the men were extremely well-connected. Oz was the presenter of “The Dr. Oz Show” and enjoyed a successful TV career. McCormick managed Bridgewater, which is one of the largest hedge funds in the world. Dina Powell McCormick McCormick is the Wall Street executive for Goldman Sachs.

It’s not difficult to raise funds for candidates with such connections. Oz’s campaign has so far raised $13million, including $7.5million in the first quarter. That included nearly $6 million from Oz. McCormick’s campaign raised $11million in the first quarter. This includes just over $7million from Oz, who entered the race officially in January.

FEC records reveal that nearly 60 Goldman executives have donated directly to McCormick’s campaign. According to sources familiar with the matter, Goldman CEO David Solomon held a fundraiser in February for McCormick, and John Rogers (chief of staff, secretary to Goldman’s board of directors) has encouraged other Goldman executives to support the campaign.

Solomon gave McCormick $5,800 in January personally.Rogers gave $50,000 to the pro-McCormick Honor Pennsylvania in late 2013.,Election records. Election records show that donors are allowed to give unlimited money to super-PACs, unlike campaign donations which can only be $5,800 per cycle for each candidate.

Rogers, along with other business leaders, hosted a New York fundraiser for McCormick’s Campaign in January. A copy of the invitation shows that.

Goldman spokesperson didn’t respond to our requests for comment.

Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital and a close friend of both McCormicks, told CNBC he senses the Wall Street support comes from what he says is the belief that the former Bridgewater CEO’s policies are more “center right.” According to his records, he hasn’t yet made a donation to McCormick.

Novogratz stated that Wall Street was centrist to explain the support.

Wall Street firms often support candidates from both sides. For example, Barack Obama received $1 million from Goldman’s Political Action Committee and his employees when he ran for the presidency in 2008. 2008According to the Center for Responsive Politics, it was. The President Joe Biden saw more. $70 millionFrom Wall Street during his campaign for the White House

McCormick could be a potential ally for Washington business leaders, if he wins the November general election.

Reginald Brown of Kirkland Ellis stated in an email, “Supporting Dave can be an easy call for many business leaders.” FEC filings reveal that Brown donated $5,800 in January to McCormick’s campaign. There is a strong feeling that Brown will not be an unreliable cannon, and is prepared to serve as a stateman in a highly challenging world.

Dr. Oz was a television personality that served on President’s Council on Fitness. Brown stated that it was an easy choice for business leaders who are pragmatic. Oz was a member of the Council on Sports, Nutrition and Fitness, which is now headed by former President Donald Trump. dropped him.

McCormick is endorsed by several Wall Street billionaires.

Chicago-based Citadel investment company CEO Ken Griffin donated $7.5million to the proMcCormick super PAC in total, with $2.5 million in March.

Steve Schwarzman from Blackstone gave $500,000 to pro-McCormick groups in February. Paul Singer (founder of Elliot Management), donated $1 million the same month.

Nelson Peltz was the co-founder and chief executive of Trian Partners. He contributed $80,000 to pro-Oz super PAC during the first three month of this year. John Paulson (a billionaire hedge fund founder) donated $5,800 to Oz’s campaign.

American Leadership Action was the PAC backing Oz’s campaign. According to nonpartisan data, it spent $3 million attacking McCormick.

Requests for comments were not answered by representatives of Schwarzman, Singer and Peltz.

Griffin stated that he encouraged McCormick’s candidacy.

Griffin explained that he was adamant about David’s intention to run for Senate. “Our nation is in good hands if skilled and dedicated people like him are elected into public office.” Griffin cited McCormick’s military service in the Gulf War and his experience with government under former President George W. Bush, which included roles at Treasury and Commerce.

Both McCormick and OzRay Dalio (the founder of Bridgewater), has close personal relations with me. He has not donated to any of my campaigns.

Oz has many Wall Street friends and Trump is one of his supporter.

Federal election records reveal that John Mack, former chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, donated $600,000. Mack stated to CNBC that he supports Oz because of his efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Mack also said that Mack will bring his “fighting spirit” to Washington, if he is elected senator. Mack, who was also known for cutting costs and being meticulous at Morgan Stanley, is well-known on Wall Street.

Mack said in a text to CNBC that Mack “fights for what is right,”

Trump recently endorsed Oz. But, Trump’s friends from the past have given to McCormick.

McCormick received donations from Ray Washburne (a former finance chair for the Republican National Committee and a real-estate mogul); Brian Ballard (a veteran lobbyist who has raised a lot of money for Trump); and Christine Toretti (an oil and gas executive, part of Trump’s transition team, and the nominee of Trump for Ambassador to Malta).

Washburne is an imposing figure on the campaign trail. He also was part of Trump’s transition team.

Jess Szymanski (speaker for McCormick), McCormick’s Wall Street ties were downplayed in an emailed message. In an email statement, she noted that McCormick was also a former Bridgewater executive and had raised $1,000,000 from Pennsylvania donors in all of 67 counties. He has sufficient support to win a costly race.

“Dave McCormick has shown he is the only one in this race who has the broad support and fundraising strength necessary to lead one of the most expensive and important Senate races in the country and keep the seat in Republican hands,” Szymanski said.

Oz used McCormick’s opportunity as a target in his campaign.

David McCormick, the ultimate insider of the establishment. He continues to flounder, despite spending millions on a China-funded smear campaign,” Oz spokeswoman Brittany Yanick said in an email.