During the second quarter, there was a notable surge of donations from finance sector executives to Donald Trump’s primary rivals, indicating a growing interest among Wall Street figures in finding an alternative candidate to lead the Republican Party in the 2024 elections.
New Federal Election Commission filings revealed that many Wall Street executives, including hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, contributed the legal maximum amounts to Republican candidates polling below Trump.
Among Trump’s chief rivals, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received notable contributions from finance leaders. Paul Tudor Jones donated $6,600 to DeSantis’ campaign. Jones had previously supported various candidates in previous presidential elections. Venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale and Goldman Sachs Vice President Justin Siegel also contributed to DeSantis’ campaign.
Likewise, Vivek Ramaswamy, known for challenging Wall Street firms with environmental, social, and governance investment strategies, received contributions from finance sector leaders. Hedge fund CEO Bill Ackman and Evercore ISI Chairman Ed Hyman donated $3,300 each to Ramaswamy’s campaign. Investor Glenn Dubin and his wife Eva donated $6,600 each, although they have reported ties to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, also successfully raised money from Wall Street, receiving maxed-out contributions from executives in finance, including Cliff Asness, the co-founder of AQR Capital Management, and venture capitalist Tim Draper.
The finance community’s support for alternative Republican candidates reflects a continuation of the anti-Trump trend observed in the 2020 presidential race, where Wall Street leaders contributed significantly more to Joe Biden’s campaign compared to Trump’s.