Rex Sinquefield, the mega-wealthy GOP benefactor in Missouri, on Wednesday donated $750,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Catherine Hanaway.
Hanaway, a former House speaker, is the only declared GOP candidate in the race, although others, including state Auditor Tom Schweich, are said to be interested.
The donation cements Hanaway as the Republican candidate to beat. It also raises questions about just how much she’ll owe Sinquefield if she wins.
Sinquefield’s causes include income tax cuts and efforts to revamp public education with school-choice programs and limits on teacher tenure.
The expected Democratic candidate is Attorney General Chris Koster, although other Democrats, including Sen. Claire McCaskill, have expressed at least token interest.
Sinquefield already had donated $50,000 to Hanaway, a former House speaker. In addition, the Sinquefield-backed Club for Growth had donated $100,000 to Hanaway.
That means that more than 70 percent of the nearly $1.3 million Hanaway has raised so far in her campaign came from Sinquefield or causes he supports.
In a statement, Hanaway said, “Mr. Sinquefield’s support is a tremendous boost to our fund-raising efforts. Missouri is being left behind, and economic reform is a must if Missouri wants to win the competition for quality jobs.
“I am thankful that Mr. Sinquefield supports the pro-growth agenda I have been working on since I was first elected to public office in 1998. After Rex moved back to Missouri in 2005, he began advocating reforms for which I have fought for years. With his help and help from thousands of other Missourians, we can create the economic growth Missouri needs to fund quality schools, build safer highways and deliver quality health care.”
The $750K donation may be the largest ever to an individual candidate in state history. We’re checking.