Photograph by Ethan Miller—Getty Images

The casino mogul donated nearly $100 million to super PACs last election cycle.

By Claire Zillman
May 6, 2016

Ever since Donald Trump clinched the GOP nomination for president, some party loyalists have pledged not to support the billionaire businessman in the general election, disavowing his policy proposals and controversial rhetoric. But one of the nation’s most prominent Republicans is not joining that camp.

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson told The New York Times on Thursday night that he would support Trump in his bid for the White House. “Yes, I’m a Republican, he’s a Republican,” Mr. Adelson said. “He’s our nominee. He won fair and square.”

Adelson’s vow to support Trump is noteworthy because the casino magnate, with an estimated net worth of $25.4 billion, has some of the deepest pockets in U.S. politics. In 2012, he and his wife Miriam donated a reported $93 million to super PACs. About a third of that sum went to a group supporting Mitt Romney in his battle with President Barack Obama.

 

Following that election cycle, Adelson told The Washington Post that he’d set a higher bar for candidates courting his support in 2016. And he’s largely kept that promise, staying neutral through the recent months of the nominating contests.

Adelson’s backing of Trump also comes as somewhat of a surprise since the Republican Jewish Coalition, which Adelson has supported financially, said that it would focus its efforts on securing more seats for Republicans in Congress after Trump emerged as the party’s nominee.

The whims of mega-donors matter more to the Trump camp now that the candidate has walked back an earlier pledge to self-fund his campaign. “I’ll be putting up money, but won’t be completely self-funding,” he said on Wednesday.

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