How Rich are the GOP Presidental Candidates?

Posted by Mike Tirone - Friday, January 13th, 2012

Forget the big corporate donations and Super PACs for presidential candidates' campaigns, which we have seen plenty of coverage on. We all know that those are just an alternative way for big money to come into presidential campaigns.

But about the candidates' personal wealth? The potential next man in the White House could be walking into Washington with a healthy pocket full of money. Which candidates stack up the stacks?

6. Rick Perry

Total Net Worth: $1 to $2.5 million

rick perry

The man who struggles with counting in threes sure knows how to count his money because he's swimming in it. The Texas governor, who is still on the job during all this campaigning, receives both a salary and pension from the state of Texas. The salary is $132,995 a year, and his monthly annuity is $7,698.

Aside from his income as governor, Perry has a solid portfolio. He released his stock holdings by revoking his blind trust in September for the first time in 15 years, and it has been picking up steam ever since then.

His portfolio is well-diversified, with holdings in major corporations from the U.S. and Europe as well as investing in PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Chevron Cisco and Microsoft. He also attributes much of his wealth to a series of private land deals (one particularly famous plot of land as well).

But with all of his wealth, he still lands at the bottom of the list of wealthiest presidential candidates.


5. Rick Santorum

Total Net Worth: $1 to $3 million

rick santorum

Although one of the “poorest” candidates in the race, Rick Santorum is still a millionaire no matter how you slice it.

Most of Santorum's money stems from rental real estate properties and lucrative compensation in the private sector serving as a consultant (or lobbyist as some say).

While he tries to prove he is the “common man” to voters, his finances don't seem far too common for most Americans, as he has some some acrrued to his name from two mortgages for rental properties which total up to $750,000. According to the FEC filing, those properties, located in State College, Pa. are worth between $500,000 and $1.25 million.

As Bloomberg's executive editor said of the former Pennsylvanian senator and congressman, “He's certainly a piker compared to Mitt Romney. He doesn't have those kind of riches. But we don't have to worry about food stamps for Rick Santorum.”


4. Ron Paul

Total Net Worth: $2.4 to $5.4 million

ron paul arms

Dr. Ron Paul has had some interesting donor lists revealed in comparison to his political opponents and he is not ashamed to speak honestly about his finances. The Texas congressman has a personal loan from the First National Bank of Lake Jackson and it totals $250,000 to $500,000 with a 5-year term.

The sound-money advocate is invested in more than 20 separate companies that have something afliated with “gold”, “silver”, “mining”, and “mines” in the company name.

Paul is known for, especially around the Wealth Wire faithfuls, his mining stocks. He holds large amounts in two publicly traded mining companies; $100,000 to $250,000 in Barrick Gold Corporation and $500,000 to $1,000,000 in Goldcorp Inc.


3. Newt Gingrich

Total Net Worth: $7 to $31 million

newt gingrich

The former house speaker is almost more so a business man than anything else, it is a surprise he can wrap his head around politics anymore with the incredible amounts of money he is making away from Washington.

The majority of his assets come from a promissory note from the Gingrich Group, LLC to Gingrich Productions, Inc., which all are all pieces of the much larger, more intertwined web of businesses he maintains.

Gingrich Productions is his bread and butter though, as the Washington-based multimedia company paid out $2.4 million in disbursements to Gingrich. In the 1990s as speaker, he was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in book royalties alone, on top of his Congressional salary but also having the financial burden of a $300,000 penalty assessed against him by the House Ethics Committee for an improper book deal and a second divorce on the way.

The Washington Post reported in November that Gingrich's web of enterprises – from the documentary production company already mentioned to a health care development company-- generated close to $100 million in revenue over the last decade.


2. Jon Huntsman

Total Net Worth: $16 to $72 million

jon huntsman

It's all in the family when it comes to riches for the former governor of Utah... a family of corporate wealth. The Huntsman Corporation is a global chemical company with over 12,000 employees and over $9 billion in revenue, which the presidential candidate's father, Jon Huntsman Sr. founded and is the Executive Chairman of the Board. Huntsman Sr. is one of the wealthiest self-made men in the world while his son's assets are tied in some way to the family.

Huntsman Jr. lists a family holding company worth between $5 million and $25 million as an asset. Much of his income is from his rental real estate properties in California and $1 million to $5 million in dividends from Huntsman Corp. according to his September government filing.

When it comes to wealth in competition to GOP candidate Mitt Romney, Huntsman is the only one of the bunch to even hold a candle to the former Massachusetts governor...


1. Mitt Romney

Total Net Worth: up to $264 million

mitt romney strong

When it comes down to it, Romney has a lot of money all in part due to dividends and interest from his investments. On top of those, he enjoys charging an arm and a leg, including up to $68,000, for one speaking event. Being one of the most sought-after political and financial speakers in the country, he makes a very large sum on the speaking circuit. In total Romney is earning between $9 million and $43 million in income, without actually have a regular day job.

As for other portions of his wealth, much of it is tied up in a blind trust that ironically include many health-care-industry stocks, as he looks to distance himself away from his health-care reform bill he signed as governor.

Before campaigning and serving as Massachusetts governor, Romney had very successful careers at Bain & Company, a consulting shop, as well as private equity firm Bain Capital. He later went on to gain more fame and add to his speaking circuit business by joining the Salt Lake City Olympics committee in 1999.

He has large investments in commodities, including $250,000 to $500,000 in gold alone. Interestingly enough, Romney's FEC filing also lists between $250,000 and $500,00 in horses, which are said to belong to his wife.


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