Ohio billionaire and long-time GOP mega-donor Les Wexner announced one month ago that he was leaving the party. Now, he is starting to put his immense fortune behind Democratic candidates.
The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Wexner gave at least $20,000 to Democrats in his own state and has changed his voting status to “independent.”
It’s not really surprising that Wexner is giving money to Democrats. Speaking at a leadership summit in September he said of Trump’s brand of politics and the GOP’s complicit nature towards the 45th POTUS: “I won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party.”
At least $10,000 of his donations have gone to Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D) and another $10,000 to the Ohio House Democratic caucus.
Wexner, CEO of L Brands which owns Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and La Senza was the wealthiest GOP donor in Ohio. Between 2013 and 2018 he provided the Republican Party with $1.9 million for candidates running in his home state, HuffPost reports.
Following President Trump’s nomination, Wexner quickly became an outspoken critic of the President while calling for bipartisan politics in Washington.
It should be noted, Wexner still supports some Republican candidates in his state including $10,000 in donations for Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith and $10,000 for the Senate and House Republican caucuses. He and his wife have also donated considerable money to a bipartisan Super PAC.
The Republican party has witnessed an exit from some of its most outspoke supporters since Trump took office. Just last week, former Florida Rep. David Jolly announced he was leaving the GOP. He said the party had “evolved into a callous political coalition willing to leave some of the most vulnerable behind.”
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.