Total Wine magnate David Trone spent $12.4 million of his own money in a run for an open Democratic congressional seat in Maryland, but came up short in the primary, losing to state Sen. Jamie Raskin, according to The Washington Post.
Trone is the co-owner of the retail chain Total Wine & More. His $12.4 million is the largest amount that any House candidate has spent on the race while Sen. Raskin, the winner of the primary, only raised $1.8 million.
Trone's spending averages out to $49.55 for every registered Democrat in the district that he aimed to represent, according to the Post.
Trone said he needed to invest the money to promote himself, because he was running against better-known candidates such as Kathleen Matthews, wife of "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, and the eventual winner, Sen. Raskin.
Matthews wrote in an "open letter" to Trone: "You are trying to buy a congressional seat, as if it's a fine bottle of wine," reported the Baltimore Sun.
The Citizens United decision in 2010 opened up the increased possibility of wealth as a political advantage. The candidate could announce that they are not beholden to donors, as Donald Trump has done.
Trone also took that route. His campaign blocked donations of more than $10, according to NPR.
Candidates who fund themselves do not have a large winning percentage. The Center for Responsive Politics
pointed out that out of 500 plus candidates who self-financed more than half of their campaigns since 2010, only 11 won — a win rate of 2 percent.
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