Majority Leader Eric Cantor was handed a shocking upset defeat Tuesday night, but he didn’t go down alone – Blackstone Group (BX) bet big on the moderate establishment Republican and now that investment is down the tubes, as Cantor is now on a path to private citizenship.
Washington and the Republican machine are still reeling after the second-most powerful man in the House was dethroned by a tea party Republican primary challenger who was outraised in funding 25 to 1 by the eight-term Cantor.
Of the more than $5 million Cantor spent defending his Richmond, Virginia district seat in the primary, a good chunk of that came from Blackstone, according to OpenSecrets.org. Cantor raised a total of $5.4 million.
Blackstone Group is now the largest landlord in America, via Invitation Homes, and it was also Cantor’s largest corporate donor in this election cycle.
More than 10% of Blackstone’s 2014 election cycle donations to individual candidates went directly to Cantor.
Click the thumbnail below to see the list of corporate donors, with Blackstone at the top.
During this cycle, the company has donated $613,125 to candidates, of which $65,000 went to Cantor.
Blackstone Group spent the past two years building its empire of single-family rental homes via subsidiary Invitation Homes, spending $7.5 billion to acquire 40,000 houses. The private-equity firm sells bonds backed by lease payments.
Cantor lost to economics professor David Brat, who targeted Cantor’s support of a more liberal immigration and amnesty policy. He raised a mere $206,000 and spent just $122,000 for his whole campaign.
Cantor, in contrast spent almost $168,000 on steakhouses during the election campaign.
While there are many reasons for Blackstone or any other business to support a high-ranking House member, Blackstone would certainly benefit in an increase of immigrant workers who are more likely to rent than buy.