MONEY & BUSINESS: Wall Street donors favor GOP Senate candidate Dave McCormick
Former hedge fund executive Dave McCormick is a clear favorite for a Pennsylvania Senate seat among deep-pocketed Wall Street donors.
McCormick — a Republican looking to unseat the state’s Democratic Sen. Bob Casey after a bitter GOP primary loss to Donald Trump-backed celebrity surgeon Dr. Oz in 2022 — has an impressive donor list that includes Citadel’s Ken Griffin, Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman and Elliott Management’s Paul Singer, according to Bloomberg.
The trio of billionaires collectively dished out $18 million to pro-McCormick super PAC Keystone Renewal, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the group’s finances.
Keystone Renewal has received just 34 donations from September through December, most of which have been upwards of $100,000, according to The Inquirer.
Griffin, Charles Schwab and Paul Tudor Jones co-hosted a fundraising event at Tudor Jones’s Palm Beach, Fla., 12,500-plus-square-foot oceanfront estate in December, according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg.
Among the wealthy invitees were Charles Johnson, the principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, former Colorado Senator Cory Gardner and merchant bank BDT & MSD Partners LLC founder Byron Trott, Bloomberg reported.
Those attending the event reportedly paid between $3,300 and $24,500 per person, according to the invitation.
Employees of Goldman Sachs have also since donated a total of $377,000 to McCormick’s campaign, including its CEO David Solomon and other top lieutenants, like COO John Waldron, Tucker York, Miriam Wheeler and Alison Mass, per recent disclosures with the Federal Election Commission, according to Bloomberg.
“Dave is honored to have donations from all 67 counties in Pennsylvania,” McCormick’s press secretary Nathaniel Sizemore told The Post.
“This is going to be the most important Senate race in the country because Bob Casey’s failure has left our border open and our country weaker. Both candidates will get support from all over, but Bob Casey will no doubt be the candidate supported by Washington.”
Wall Street figures are likely motivated to back McCormick despite having no ties to Pennsylvania because of the 58-year-old Gulf War veteran’s past experience as the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, Bloomberg reported.
Despite the high-profile endorsements, Casey was leading McCormick 47% to 35% in a poll released Thursday by Franklin and Marshall College — a larger margin than when the group polled in October.
McCormick has until the primaries on April 23 to bolster his odds for election.
Finance-industry allies in the Senate have retired in recent years — namely Republicans Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who worked as a derivatives trader before his venture into politics, as well as Ohio’s Rob Portman, a former US trade representative.
McCormick’s donor list also includes former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Crow Holdings chairman Harlan Crow, investor Stanley Druckenmiller, AQR Capital Management’s Cliff Asness and Cleveland Browns owner James Haslam, Bloomberg reported.
Benefactors raised $5.5 million for McCormick’s campaign in the fourth quarter alone, plus invested an additional $1 million in the Senate candidate’s first-quarter campaign, per McCormick’s website.
The $6.4 million sum was described as “a groundbreaking haul” that “beats any of Bob Casey’s fundraising quarters in 18 years and is among the largest first quarters ever for a Republican challenger.”
“This shows that there is not only real excitement and momentum for McCormick’s candidacy, but also the fact that Pennsylvania is a state that McCormick will win in November,” Keystone Renewal’s spokesperson, Brittany Yanick, said in a statement to Bloomberg.
McCormick previously ran for Senate in 2022 — reportedly among the most expensive Senate race to date.