Each election cycle brings its share of candidates who struck it rich in the business world and hope to use their fortunes to help bankroll successful runs for political office. Most are destined to lose. That includes this year's biggest self-funder, David Dewhurst, who spent at least $16.5 million in his loss to Ted Cruz in Tuesday's Texas primary.
The list of U.S. Senate candidates who spent big in 2010 and lost includes McMahon, $50 million; Jeff Greene in Florida, $23.7 million; and Carly Fiorina in California, $5.5 million. The biggest exception was Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who spent $8.7 million in his defeat of Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold.
But this year's crop of self-funders has more going for them than lots of money. They're also able to highlight successful business records to voters hungry for a better economy and resentful of those currently in office because of the economy's slow growth and stubbornly high jobless rate.
A recent ad from Brunner exemplifies the self-funders' strategy as he criticized former state treasurer Sarah Steelman and six-term Rep. Todd Akin.
"While John Brunner was adding over a thousand manufacturing jobs, politicians Todd Akin and Sarah Steelman were manufacturing debt," said the ad.Page 2 of 5 | Prev Page | Next Page