Wall Street Tries To Take Out Trump’s Senate Candidate In Pennsylvania

(JC Olivera/Getty Images) (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Several top Wall Street executives have given major sums of money to the Senate campaign of former Bridgewater Associates CEO David McCormick, who is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination in Pennsylvania.

McCormick worked at Bridgewater in various roles from 2009-2022, and his wife Dina Powell McCormick is currently an executive at Goldman Sachs. Both McCormicks served in the George W. Bush administration, and Dina Powell McCormick also served in the Trump administration. Former President Donald Trump has endorsed David McCormick’s chief rival, former reality show host and heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, citing Oz’s perceived electability. (RELATED: Dr. Oz Declares Candidacy For Republican Pennsylvania Senate Seat)

More than 60 Goldman Sachs employees have donated to McCormick’s Senate campaign, according to an analysis from CNBC, including CEO David Solomon, who hosted a fundraiser for McCormick in February. Solomon donated the federal maximum $5,8000 to McCormick’s campaign. In addition, Goldman Sachs chief of staff and secretary to the Board of Directors John Rogers has given $50,000 to the pro-McCormick Honor Pennsylvania Super PAC.

Citadel CEO Ken Griffin has given $7.5 million to Honor Pennsylvania, in addition to giving the federal maximum to the McCormick campaign. Griffin, a top GOP donor, has given large amounts of money to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and his hedge fund paid $810,000 in speaking fees to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in 2019 and 2020.

“When I heard David was considering running for the Senate, I urged him to do so as our nation will be in good hands if talented and committed individuals like him are elected to public office,” Griffin told CNBC of his support for McCormick.

FILE PHOTO: Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO, Citadel, speaks during the Milken Institute’s 22nd annual Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Other top donors to Honor Pennsylvania include former Actua Corporation CEO Walter “Buck” Buckley, who has given $1.25 million, and Elliott Management CEO Paul Singer, who has given $1 million. Singer also donated the federal maximum to the McCormick campaign. Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman chipped in $500,000 to Honor Pennsylvania.

American Leadership Action, a Super PAC supporting Oz, has received several donations from Wall Street executives, although not as many as have supported McCormick. Former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack has donated $600,000 to American Leadership Action, while Trian Partners founder Nelson Peltz has given $80,000.

McCormick’s Wall Street donors believe that he will be a more predictable and supportive senator than Oz, according to Kirkland & Ellis partner Reginald Brown. Brown donated the federal maximum to McCormick’s campaign.

“There’s a strong sense that [McCormick] won’t be a loose cannon and is ready to be a statesman in a very challenging world,” he explained to CNBC. “Dr. Oz is a TV personality who served on the President’s Council on Fitness. Not a hard choice for pragmatic business leaders.”

The Oz campaign is attempting to portray McCormick as an out-of-touch executive who won’t take on big corporations or China, with an Oz spokeswoman calling him the “ultimate establishment insider.” Oz has also faced criticism from conservatives for his ties to major pharmaceutical companies, as well as his early 2010s support for sex change operations on minors.