Best of Bethesda 2019 - Hey, Big Spender | Bethesda Magazine

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Hey, Big Spender

Editors' Pick

Incoming U.S. Rep. David Trone set a new national record for self-funding a congressional campaign, digging into his own pocket for $17.5 million in winning Maryland’s 6th District last fall. The co-owner of nationwide retailer Total Wine & More broke the old self-funding record of $13.4 million, established by, yes, David Trone in a losing bid for the Democratic congressional nomination in neighboring District 8 two years earlier. The $30-plus million total that Trone invested over two campaigns to reach Capitol Hill could end up yielding a rather limited return: Less than 24 hours after his Nov. 6 victory, a federal court issued a decision that the 6th District had been unconstitutionally redrawn in 2011 to favor the Democrats. The ruling leaves Trone with the prospect of having to spend another chunk of his personal fortune in two years to win re-election in a new 6th District with significant political alterations. Trone wasn’t the only Potomac multimillionaire named David to set a campaign spending record in 2018: Former health care executive David Blair spent $5.7 million (including $5.1 million in personal funds) in narrowly losing the Democratic primary for county executive, more than double the old spending record of $2.7 million set by another unsuccessful candidate, then-County Councilmember Steve Silverman in 2006.

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