Montana GOP Senate candidate would be in the top 10 richest lawmakers — and his investments are sure to irk some conservatives

The GOP's Senate recruit in Montana would fall in the top 10 wealthiest members of Congress if elected.
The GOP's Senate recruit in Montana would fall in the top 10 wealthiest members of Congress if elected.Tim Sheehy for Montana
  • Tim Sheehy, GOP leadership's anointed Senate candidate in Montana, disclosed his personal finances.

  • As it turns out, he's super wealthy — and would be in the top 10 wealthiest lawmakers if elected.

  • Some of his investments put him at odds with the base as he faces a potential primary challenge.

Tim Sheehy, the GOP's anointed candidate to unseat Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, is extremely wealthy.

That's the chief takeaway from the Bridger Aerospace CEO's recently filed financial disclosure, which also revealed investments in a Chinese company, the pharmaceutical industry, and other things likely to draw the ire of the Republican base.

Altogether, the Montana Republican's net worth lies somewhere between $74 million and $260 million, according to a calculation of his declared assets.

Last year alone, he made more than $7 million in income, including $5 million from Bridger, along with somewhere between $16 million and $44 million in dividends from his myriad investments.

If elected, he would easily be one of the top 10 wealthiest members of Congress, and possibly the wealthiest: Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, currently the wealthiest lawmaker, was worth at least $200 million in 2020.

Sheehy's personal wealth was a key reason behind why Senate Republican leadership recruited him — it would allow him to self-fund a campaign against Tester, a vulnerable incumbent who's stubbornly held onto his Senate seat in the Republican-leading state cycle after cycle, in part due to his knack for fundraising.

Yet Tester still handily outraised Sheehy during the last quarter, raising $5 million versus Sheehy's $2.8 million. The Bridger CEO also has yet to go all-in on self-funding, contributing less than $700,000 of his own money to his campaign.

Tester, according to his 2022 financial disclosure, is worth somewhere between $1.7 million and $6.5 million.

Despite the GOP recruit's seemingly-intimidating largesse, Rep. Matt Rosendale — the party's failed 2018 Senate nominee — continues to tease his own Senate campaign, and would likely have the support of the party's right flank if he ran. An August poll found Rosendale with a commanding lead over Sheehy, garnering 55% of the Republican electorate versus the Bridger CEO's 19%.

And Sheehy's investments would likely provide Rosendale some fodder to attack him from the right.

The financial disclosure reveals that Sheehy — despite talking tough on China as a candidate — was invested in the Chinese entertainment and technology conglomerate Tencent and made up to $1,000 off of the stock he sold last year.

He also continues to hold at least $250,000 in stock in PZIEX, a mutual fund that includes significant amounts of stock in Chinese companies like Alibaba, and made up to $15,000 in dividends last year.

Sheehy also holds at least $50,000 of stock in Cloverly, a clean-tech startup focused on combatting climate change by facilitating the purchase of carbon offsets. Ahead of his Senate launch, Bridger notably scrubbed language from its website touting that they're "fighting on the front lines of climate change," and Sheehy has since denounced what he calls "the climate cult."

The Montana Republican and his wife are also invested in a variety of pharmaceutical companies, even as skepticism of big pharma grows on the right in the wake of the pandemic and COVID-19 vaccine mandates. That includes up to $15,000 in stock in Johnson & Johnson and Royalty Pharma.

In a statement to Insider, a Sheehy spokesperson said that the Montana Republican "has lived the American Dream, created hundreds of Montana jobs, and his success means he can never be bought" while arguing that the "liberal media wants to gloss over" Tester's own wealth.

The spokesperson also pointed to Sheehy's ethics pledge, which states that the Montana Republican will place all of his stocks into a blind trust if elected.

The wealthy first-time candidate has already faced conflict-of-interest questions surrounding his company, given Bridger's reliance on government contracts and his insistence on remaining the company's CEO as he campaigns.

And Sheehy's encountered other hiccups typical of first-time candidates for office, including failing to hide an old Facebook account that paints the candidate in an unflattering light.


Read the original article on Business Insider