Dan Gilbert and His Company’s PAC Donated to Georgia GOP Senate Candidates

Dan Gilbert and His Company’s PAC Donated to Georgia GOP Senate Candidates
Photo by Steve Neavling
Billionaire Dan Gilbert, his family members, and the political action committee for one of his Detroit-based companies have thrown money into the Georgia Senate race to help the Republican incumbents win Tuesday’s election.

Gilbert donated $2,800 — the maximum allowable amount — to Sen. David Perdue. Gilbert’s family members chipped in an additional $2,800, according to Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy group that examined campaign finance records.

The political action committee of Gilbert’s Detroit-based Rock Holdings donated $5,000 to Sen. Kelly Loeffler on Nov. 14. The PAC also contributed $7,500 to Perdue in June and $5,000 to the Georgia Republican Party on Nov. 11.

Matt Cullen, former CEO of Bedrock Detroit and current principal and chairman of JACK Entertainment — both of which are Gilbert companies — donated $2,800 to Perdue in June.

Jay Farner, an executive at Gilbert’s Quicken Loans, donated $2,000 to Perdue in July 2019. Bill Emerson, vice chairman of Rock Holdings and former CEO of Quicken Loans, chipped in $2,800 on Dec. 1, as did his wife.

This isn’t just any race. Control of the Senate is at stake, and a Republican victory could undermine President-elect Joe Biden's plans to help lower-income families.

Gilbert is a prolific donor to Republican candidates. During the presidential primary election in 2016, he donated $1.25 million to then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s super PAC and $350,000 to PACs tied to then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich, campaign finance records show.

After Trump won the primary in 2016, Gilbert attended a secret, $25,000-a-plate fundraiser at his Chrysler House building in downtown Detroit for Donald Trump and the Republicans National Committee.

Gilbert also contributed $750,000 to Trump’s presidential inauguration in January 2017.

Gilbert has said he supports candidates of both political parties. "Our interests are in the policies at the federal level, and not the politics surrounding the elections," Gilbert said in a 2017 statement. "We have often supported both political parties in the same election so that we have the ability to impact positive change, regardless of who occupies the offices." Indeed, Gilbert also gave $75,000 for a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful presidential campaign.

In the Georgia Senate race, Democrat Jon Ossoff is challenging Loeffler, and Democrat Raphael Warnock is running against Perdue.
Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.