Eric Cantor's Corporate Donors Couldn't Guarantee Him Victory

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor suffered a stunning defeat in Tuesday's Republican primary, losing to a Tea Party challenger, Dave Brat, a professor at Randolph-Macon College, a small liberal arts school in Ashland, Va.

The House Majority Leader, ranked second to Speaker of the House John Boehner, lost by 10 percentage points, a sizable defeat that has shaken the political outlook on Capitol Hill and within the GOP. More importantly it disappointed major key corporate donors, important relationships Cantor had cultivated during his 14-year tenure in the House, including Goldman Sachs (GS) and Blackstone (BX).

In retrospect, corporate campaign funding wasn't sufficient to guarantee Cantor the support of enough registered voters to win the primary election for Virginia's Seventh Congressional District. Brat, an economist who hammered away at Cantor's position of immigration reform, had a campaign budget of about $300,000, far less than the $5 million Cantor spent toward his re-election.

Here's a look at the top five corporate donors to Cantor's losing campaign as compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington:


5. Charmer Sunbelt Group (CSG)

The family-oriented, New York-based Charmer Sunbelt Group, specializing in the distribution of fine wines, spirits, beers and other beverages donated a total of $25,000 to Cantor's campaign foundation.

4. Altria Group (MO)

Eric Cantor accepted a $25,600 donation from Henrico County, Virginia's Altria Group, formerly known as Philip Morris Cos., and one of the world's largest tobacco companies. Altria also specializes in the production of wine and spirits.

3. Goldman Sachs (GS)

Goldman Sachs, the well-heeled, global investment banking firm contributed $26,600 to Cantor's primary campaign. Located in New York, Goldman Sachs, of course, engages in investment management, investment banking, securities and various other financial services pertaining to institutional clients.

2. Scoggin Capital Management Privately-Held

Cantor's primary campaign procured $40,400 from privately owned hedge fund sponsor Scoggin Capital Management. Founded in 1988, the company invests in bankruptcies, mergers, spinoffs and financially compromised companies.


1. Blackstone Group   (BX)

The award for the most philanthropic business goes to Blackstone Group whicho contributed $65,500 to Cantor's campaign fund. The Manhattan-based multinational alternative asset management, investment banking, private equity and financial corporation specializes in private equity, credit and hedge fund investment strategies and is currently the largest alternative investment firm in the world.

-- Written by Oleander Furman in New York

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