Steve Wynn renews his political bets
Steve Wynn is re-engaging in midterm races this year, and Republicans who distanced themselves from the casino mogul after sexual misconduct allegations are now happy to take his money.
Why it matters: The change in tone from some beneficiaries of Wynn's largesse underscores the favor and influence he still enjoys. Among the candidates he's supporting this year are Ohio Senate hopefuls Jane Timken and Josh Mandel.
- Wynn also gave the maximum $5,800 to Adam Laxalt, a former Nevada attorney general running for Senate this year.
- “As an entrepreneur and job-creator, Wynn, just like the thousands of Ohioans who have contributed to Jane’s campaign, knows we must retake a Republican Senate majority to save America, and that Jane will put a stop to the radical agenda of Joe Biden and the Radical Left," Timken spokesperson Mandi Merritt said in a statement.
- Efforts to reach Wynn were not successful. An attorney representing him also did not respond to a request for comment.
What's happening: Wynn has long been a top Republican donor and fundraiser.
- Timken previously led the Ohio GOP, which received prior Wynn donations.
- After the Wall Street Journal revealed a litany of misconduct allegations against him in 2018, Timken donated Wynn's state party contributions to charity.
- Laxalt also gave Wynn's prior contributions to him to charity in 2018.
- His campaign didn't respond to requests for comment on accepting Wynn's support this year.
The big picture: Wynn has continued donating to Republican political groups since his ouster from the gaming company that bears his name. And he's consistently maintained the misconduct allegations against him are false.
- Last year, a Nevada court revived a Wynn defamation suit against the Associated Press over a story that reported on what Wynn describes as dubious rape allegations from the 1970s. The case is ongoing.
- Nevertheless, he stepped back not just from his immensely successful casino business but from a top fundraising position for the national Republican Party after allegations initially surfaced.
- In 2020, he resumed his donations in a big way, giving $9 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, and making a few other seven-figure contributions to other prominent GOP political groups.
This year, he's backing Republicans in a handful of key races.
- In addition to Timken, Mandel and Laxalt, Wynn's donated to the Senate campaigns of Mark Brnovich in Arizona and Eric Schmitt in Missouri.
- In March, he gave $771,900 to Take Back the House, a joint fundraising committee that disbursed the funds to a group of House Republican candidates.
- Wynn also has directly supported the House campaign of former Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in Montana, and the re-election campaign for Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).