Close this search box.

Shocking: 10 Richest People in American Politics TODAY

How much do YOU know about American politics?

Fundraising and campaigning as we know it may have begun with Andrew Jackson as he was the first politician without a powerful family name or a large personal fortune. Before Jackson, the idea of candidates asking for contributions to fund their campaigns was completely foreign.

However, the amount of money involved in American politics today beggar’s belief, and having those finances available seems to pay off, well 88% of the time, as the candidate with the most money usually won.

That was until the presidential election in 2016, when the candidate with the least fundraising money, one Donald J Trump, actually won. And although Mr. Trump will be the first to tell you how incredibly wealthy he is, we thought we’d take a look at other insanely rich people who are involved in American politics today.

American Politics
Photo by jadimages at Shutterstock

Bill Haslam

Net worth: $1.8 billion

Currently serving as a visiting professor of political science at Vanderbilt University, Republican Bill Haslam was one of the few to not endorse President Trump after the release of the Access Hollywood tape where Mr. Trump was caught bragging about committing sexual assault.

Haslam would make his fortune as the CEO of the e-commerce and cataloging division at the department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue, before becoming a consultant and serving on the board of directors at Harold’s Stores, Inc.

His foray into the world of American politics began when he was elected Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee in the 2003 Knoxville mayoral election with 52% of the vote, before being sworn in as the 49th Governor of Tennessee. He would go on to be elected again in 2014, with Forbes estimating that he was the nation’s wealthiest elected official at that time.

Betsy DeVos

Net worth: $2 billion

Serving in Donald Trump’s cabinet as the 11th United States secretary of education from 2017 to 2021, Betsy DeVos’ appointment was seen as a controversial one, with her barely being confirmed by the Senate by a 51–50 margin needing the then vice president Mike Pence breaking the tie in favor of her nomination, making it the first time in US history where cabinet members confirmation was decided by a tie-breaking vote from the VP.

She is no stranger to the world of American politics, especially Republican politics, as she served as Republican national committeewoman for Michigan from 1992 to 1997 and served as chair of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000, being re-elected to the post in 2003.

Serving as chair of the board of the Alliance for School Choice and the Acton Institute and heading the All Children Matter PAC, DeVos has been a fierce and consistent advocate for school choice, school voucher programs, and charter schools.

In her time as secretary of education, not only was her family listed by Forbes as the 88th-richest in America, but she herself was the richest member of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

Her tenure would come to an abrupt end just twelve days before her term would have ended citing he reason for resigning was due to the part President Trump played in the storming of the United States Capitol, stating that “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation.”

Donald Trump

Net worth: $2.5 billion

Of course, it wouldn’t be a rich list of American politicians without ‘the Donald’ himself, although his actual net worth is still up for debate as the figure appears to fluctuate depending on how Mr. Trump ‘feels’ about his worth at any given time.

What we do know is that the value of Trump’s personal brand licensing business had declined by 88 percent since 2015 and that Trump has personally guaranteed $421 million in debt, most of which is due to be repaid by 2024.

Trump also has a total of over $1 billion in debts, borrowed to finance his assets, and owes around $640 million to various banks and trust organizations, with a further $450 million owed to, as yet, unknown creditors.

Despite his wealth of debt, Forbes still estimates that Trump’s assets still outvalue his considerable debts, and the fact he paid zero taxes in 11 of 18 years of tax records examined has certainly helped to keep his head above the proverbial waters.

…Are you as fascinated by this man as we are? If so, you might want to check THIS out!

Penny Pritzker

Net worth: $2.8 billion

Named one of the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes in 2009, after President Barack Obama nominated Pritzker as United States Secretary of Commerce, she would be confirmed by a Senate vote of 97–1, making her the only member of the powerful and influential Pritzker family to serve in the White House. However, her brother, J. B. Pritzker, is currently serving as the Governor of Illinois, so there might be another Pritzker destined to serve at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Before becoming an essential advisor to President Obama, the 61-year-old Chicago native had a long and illustrious career expanding the Pritzker family businesses. She founded PSP Partners, PSP Capital Partners, and Pritzker Realty Group and is the co-founder of Artemis Real Estate Partners and Inspired Capital. She would also go on to serve on the board of Microsoft and is chair of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

She has certainly put her money where her mouth is by donating to more than 70 Senate candidates between 1990 and 2013, as well, along with her governor brother, setting up the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to assist non-profit organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic and providing $23 million in start-up money.

John Catsimatidis

Net worth: $2.8 billion

It can be debated what Greek-born John Catsimatidis is most famous for, as the owner, president, chairman, and CEO of the Manhattan grocery store chain Gristedes Foods or as the host of a Sunday morning talk-radio show on a number of stations along the east coast and Florida, including Washington DC. He is also the owner, president, chairman, and CEO of the Red Apple Group, a real estate and aviation company with about a $2 billion net worth in holdings in New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania, serving as the chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group subsidiary United Refining Company.

His political affiliations have shifted back and forth over the years as he has made significant financial contributions to both Democrats and Republicans over the years, most famously serving as a member of Hillary Clinton’s finance team during her 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

That same year he would form an exploratory committee as a potential Republican mayoral candidate for mayor of New York City but would drop out once informed that the incumbent Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, would be running for a third term.

By 2013, Bloomberg was unable to seek a fourth term, so this would be the year Catsimatidis would again join the race for mayor of New York City but this time he would lose out to former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and deputy mayor of New York City Joe Lhota, who himself would ultimately lose out to the Democratic nominee Bill de Blasio.

American Politics
Photo by Andreas Stroh at Shutterstock

J.B. Pritzker

Net worth: $3.4 billion

As mentioned in an earlier entry, Jay Robert ‘JB’ Pritzker is the younger brother of Penny Pritzker and serves as a managing partner and co-founder of the Pritzker Group as well as the founder, together with his brother Tony, of Pritzker Group Venture Capital (formerly New World Ventures).

During the 2008 presidential election, Pritzker served as national co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, serving as a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention and the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Pritzker also founded Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century, a national organization dedicated to attracting voters under the age of 40 to the Democratic Party. When he decided to seek political office himself.

Much like his big sister Penny, he would use his own personal fortune to fund a large majority of his campaign, spending a record $171.5 million on becoming Illinois’ new governor.

And this would work (and then some), as not only did he defeat Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner, he secured victory with the largest margin of victory over a sitting governor in more than a century on his way to being elected 43rd Governor of Illinois.

Jeff Greene

Net worth: $3.9 billion

This real estate entrepreneur (no not that one) got his start in American politics way back in 1982 when he ran in the Republican primary for the 23rd Congressional District race but lost the primary to David Armor who then lost to incumbent Democrat Anthony C. Beilenson.

He would try again as a candidate in the 2010 Senate election primaries in Florida stating that he would refuse campaign contributions from special interests. He was again unsuccessful and subsequently lost the Democratic nomination.

By 2018, he would try his hand again at running for the Democratic primary for governor, and although he spent $30 million of his own money, he would yet again lose out by this time being eliminated in the primary, finishing in fourth place behind eventual nominee Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, whom Greene later endorsed.

Howard Schultz

Net worth: $4.5 billion

After working at the coffeehouse Starbucks in 1982, then leaving to start his own specialty coffeeshop called Il Giornale, only for that to be merged with Starbucks during the late-1980s, Schultz turned Starbucks into the largest coffee-house chain in the world.

After taking the company public in 1992, he would use their $271 million valuation to double their store count in a series of highly publicized coffee wars.

Although he would step down as CEO in 2000, when the 2008 financial crisis hit, he would return. Despite not actually holding any political office, he publicly considered a candidacy in the 2012, 2016, and 2020 US presidential elections as an independent candidate, but ultimately decided not to run.

Known as an outspoken political centrist, he is still heavily involved in Seattle’s political debates.

Meg Whitman

Net worth: $5 billion

This business executive has held many high positions in a number of blue-chip companies, serving as president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, vice president of Strategic Planning in The Walt Disney Company as well as holding executive positions for DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, and Hasbro. She also serves as a board member of Procter & Gamble and GM.

However, she is most famously known for her ten-year tenure as president and CEO of eBay, where she would turn $4 million to $8 billion in revenue from 1998 to 2008.

Her time in American politics would start as part of the national finance team for Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2008, as well as finance co-chair of Romney’s exploratory committee.

The following year she would try to run for governor of California in the 2010 election and spent an incredible $144 million of her own money to finance her campaign, making her the highest self-funded political candidate in U.S. history. However, all that money would not secure her victory as she lost out to Democratic former Governor Jerry Brown.

After initially serving as finance co-chair of Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, once he withdrew and endorsed Donald Trump, an astonished and critical Whitman endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign instead.

She continued to support the Democratic candidates for a while and spoke at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, where she gave her support to then-presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Michael Bloomberg

Net Worth: $54.9 billion

While Meg Whitman would hold the record for the highest self-funded political candidate in U.S. history, that would only be until 2010 when self-made billionaire and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg ponied up a staggering $935 million of his own money to fund his candidacy, one that barely lasted five months.

As co-founder of the financial information and media firm Bloomberg LP in 1981, Bloomberg amassed a fortune that would not only see him recognized by Forbes as the sixteenth-richest person in the world but as the second richest politician in the world behind one Vladimir Putin who according to some reports has a net worth of $200 Billion.

Despite failing in his bid to become president, he would see political success as the mayor of New York City, serving three terms from January 2002 to December 2013, spending a breathtaking $650 million from his net worth during the 12 years at the helm of America’s largest city.

American Politics
Photo by Sean Locke Photography at Shutterstock


The more money spent by candidates to secure the most famous job in the world, the less we know about exactly who is contributing to their campaigns and to what end, nefarious or otherwise.

Ever since the landmark ruling in 2010, known as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that the free speech clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for political communications by corporations, including nonprofit corporations, labor unions, and other associations, the waters have not just become murkier, but positively dark.

And it is with this influx of so-called ‘dark money’ that the transparency of the people and organizations funding these potential candidates is quickly dissipating.

The 2020 presidential election would not only find itself in the pages of the Guinness World Records as the most expensive election in American politics but it is estimated that at least $100 million of the money spent came from dark money.

In order for democracy to be seen to be working in the cold light of day, the Biden administration needs to tackle the issue of dark money so that everyone sitting at the table has their cards on full display.

Be sure to leave us a comment to let us know what you think about the wealthiest people in American politics!

RELATED POST: 5 Politicians That Stupidly Destroyed Their Careers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

22 Responses

  1. Those mentioned politicians at least made their money in the public sector, before getting into politics. What about politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, et al, how did they become multimillionaires on a government salary?


      1. I agree Pelosi is a disgrace…… Most of the goverment is a disgrace… Especially with the Plandemic. Do they really care what we say about them? I don’t want to be a United States of China!!! Politicians are Greedy, Lying, killing machines.!!! (not ALL, but a majority.) God Bless America🙏✌

    2. Well they got money which is called dark money from Soro’s which is rich and is in politics. His father was corrupt like most of the demorat politicians are to day so he gives them money to get elected where he ends up getting more money back from who ever he backs. Them who have money can buy anyone off.

    3. Exactly correct….. it is a hub of corruption and money laundering for those who know nothing about actually working and producing a product!

  2. Many politicians are rich because their spouses made a lot of money in the private sector. Nancy Pelosi falls in that category. As far as Maxine Waters is concerned, her $2million net worth is about in the middle of House Representatives in the wealth category. BTW if you are middle class, have a spouse whose income is greater than yours, don’t live extravagantly, have two or fewer children, manage the ownership of your California home properly AND work until you are 85, having a net worth of $2M easily attainable. No insider trading or under the table campaign contributions needed.

    1. While Nancys husband made a good living-the majority of their wealth was made thru her time in congress/politics. Lots of insider trading going on-so if Martha Stewart had to pay for her crime,then so should the Pelosi’s…

  3. If the Richest would stay out of politics and let the people vote along with honest elections we may be able to get out of this mess we are in now. Trump may be in that list of Richest but “Are we better of NOW or when Trump was president.”

  4. The second paragraph of the article begins: “However, the amount of money involved in American politics today beggar’s belief…”
    Why do illiterate writers love to throw in apostrophes where they don’t belong? Just another example of Democrat stupidity, I guess.

    1. Seriously? This is one of the biggest problems in America today- let’s lump every Democrat or Republican into one basket. One makes an error, mistake, whatever, they all must be idiots? Every incorrect written-or spoken- word means the entire party is made up of illiterate morons? Take a breath before making such a rude, generalized response and maybe the country won’t be so divided and hateful. SMH

  5. While I am not rich, am clearly “Lower middle class” and am not interested in running for any political office, I find it interesting how people of my “class” love to criticize and castigate rich people for their riches. First of all, we would love to trade places with these people as far as their bank account is concerned, but we wouldn’t want to have the responsibilities that they also carry. I have a hard time balancing my checkbook and worry about having “too much month at the end of the money”. And I am only responsible for myself and paying my own bills. To think that my decisions might hurt those that work for me is a great responsibility to bare.
    Second, would we want our leaders to be “us”? I mean, to live a boring middle class life, with the worries and struggles that we have? Would we want a person who has never really bettered himself in business and has just been a “clock puncher” wondering about the mundane things of life. Or, would we rather have someone who has turned $100 into a million dollars, with the hard work and vision it would take to be successful? I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind having a person who has worked hard and built a business now in charge of my government. They have shown that they can “do it” and I applaud them for that. Maybe they can make our government better especially when it comes to handing the trillion dollar budget that OUR TAX MONEY has built.

    1. OK-If your living a boring life-then your doing something wrong. There are challengers that are good-it makes us grow inside,but its the worry that sets up negative vibrations around you so that its a struggle for the good to come thru. Our government at first was good-but that didnt last too long before all hell broke loose.There is nothing that even resembles “responsible” about our government today at all. My household does a far better job at being responsible than our current government. A whole lot of those wealthy government employees only got wealthy simply off the backs of the people of this nation. When money is stolen,then the only thing thats gonna happen is to make the people poor and then destroy them.There was/is nothing honorable or responsible about it-as the people are about to find out. Get away from Mainstream news,as its all rubbish and is what keeps the people “asleep”. Pure propaganda. You know what they say-“follow the money”. If you choose not to-you then cant say you werent warned…god bless you with many blessings and good health..

  6. I finished medical school at the same time Schultz stopped working for Starbucks and open his own coffee shop. My $3,000+, minus tax will definitely help me with my monthly income. Schultz is currently worth almost 50Billion with a B dollars.

    Interesting when you think about it in this perspective.
    I still don’t regret the choice of my profession. (Not yet) I have enjoyed going to work every day of my life.

  7. We need to face the fact that the people that make the laws use those laws to enrich themselves and have no interest in preserving the quality of life in the U.S. and will continue to destroy the way of life in the U.S until persons like Trump, without the ego problem, are elected to profit from this misguided system such as our judicial system.

Related Posts