Posted by Palmer Gibbs
When billionaire businessman Donald Trump announced his campaign in June, he told the crowd he would self-fund his presidential bid, explaining, “I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich…”
The Donald’s campaign to be the Republican nominee for the White House is unique for many reasons, but one of the main things that sets him apart may well be his enormous personal wealth. With a net worth that reaches far into the billions, his “I’m really rich” self-assessment feels like a bit of an understatement.
While Trump’s wealth is an outlier, even in the moneyed business of political campaigns, many other politicians sport hefty bank accounts of their own. Using a variety of data sources and research, InsideGov took a look at the richest active politicians, ranking the top 24 officials and candidates. While creating the list, InsideGov consulted data from the Center for Responsive Politics and included federal-level legislators, governors and declared presidential candidates.
#24. Lincoln Chafee, Democratic candidate for president
A Rhode Island native, Lincoln Chafee might just be the most interesting politician you’ve never heard of. Chafee started out in the Senate as a Republican, then became his state’s governor after running as an independent. After one term in the Governor’s Mansion, Chafee decided to run for president in 2016 as a Democrat. Chafee and his wife, Stephanie, both come from wealthy, well-connected families (her family founded the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design in 1877). Fun fact: During his announcement, Chafee – whose father was a Republican politician – said the U.S. should adopt the metric system.
#23. Rep. James Renacci, R-Ohio
Diversity is the key to Rep. James Renacci’s wealth. The Ohio Republican, who was first elected to the House in 2010, has made his money from real estate investments, car dealerships, a restaurant and two sports teams.
#22. Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho
Sen. James Risch built his personal wealth as a trial lawyer, and served in Idaho as a state senator, lieutenant governor and governor before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008. He was re-elected in 2014, and is the chairman of the Energy Subcommittee.
#21. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
After founding a construction company when he was 25 years old, Sen. Bob Corker stayed in that line of work, eventually acquiring two real estate companies. The two-term senator now holds a number of different investment funds and accounts.
#20. Carly Fiorina, Republican candidate for president
The only woman running for president in the crowded Republican primary field, Carly Fiorina uses her executive experience at AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Hewlett-Packard to argue she is best suited to be commander in chief. But her tenure at those companies is under scrutiny. In the six years she was the CEO at HP, 30,000 employees were laid off and she banked $100 million.
#19. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y.
An Empire State native, Rep. Chris Collins started out in the business world as the CEO of an industrial gear manufacturer and later invested in a handful of companies based in western New York. Collins was first elected to the House in 2012, and before that, served as the executive of Erie County.
#18. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla.
After getting his undergraduate, law and master’s degrees from Harvard, Rep. Alan Grayson started his career as a lawyer with an emphasis on contract law. He then ran IDT Corporation, a telecommunications company. The Democratic congressman is running for Senate, an open position since Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is campaigning for the White House.
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