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America's Richest Senator, Worth $1 Billion, Is Thrown Out of Job

Money apparently cannot buy happiness. It cannot buy a Senate seat either. The richest member of Congress, Senator Georgia Republican Kelly Loeffler, who has a net worth close to $1 billion, lost her election to Rev. Raphael Warnock by the thinnest of margins.

In the end, the challenger Raphael Warnock had 2,257,858 votes to Loeffler’s 2,184,454. Between the two campaigns, they raised and spent about $237 million. Loeffler spent $49.8 million of that herself. Ultimately, it was money wasted.

Loeffler’s net worth was estimated at $800 million several months ago. She and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher then owned about $500 worth of stock in Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (NYSE: ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange. That sum has risen rapidly since. The stock of Intercontinental Exchange has jumped 25% in the last six months. The company has a market cap of $65 billion, and it had revenue of $1.93 billion last quarter. On that, it had net income of $390 million. Aside from the New York Stock Exchange, it owns ICE Mortgage Technology, which provides data for the U.S. residential mortgage industry. Sprecher is CEO of Intercontinental Exchange and chair of the New York Stock Exchange. His pay packages have been in the six figures.

Loeffler and Sprecher have massive real estate holdings. These include a 15,000-square-foot mansion outside Atlanta, three houses in Florida, an apartment in Chicago and a home on the Georgia coast. They are also partial owners of the WNBA team the Atlanta Dream.

During the election, some opponents demanded that Loeffler separate her assets from Sprecher because of his control of one of the world’s largest financial exchanges. In the midst of the election, Donald Sherman, former chief oversight counsel for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said, “In a divided government, with a closely divided Senate, one vote can certainly be decisive. It’s a disadvantage to folks back home if their senator has a conflict.” That was ignored.

Loeffler’s campaign was particularly expensive, given her tenure. She was appointed to her seat in December 2019 because Republican Senator Johnny Isakson resigned for health reasons. So, she had her job for barely a year.