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Trudy Busch Valentine reports up to $215M in wealth, $30M in income on federal filing

By: - July 5, 2022 12:21 pm

Democratic Senate candidate Trudy Busch Valentine reported personal wealth of up to $215 million and income of up to $30.7 million in a disclosure report filed Sunday. (submitted photo)

Trudy Busch Valentine, heir to a share of the Busch family beer fortune, confirmed in a federal disclosure filing Sunday that she is not personally a billionaire. But she is, by far, the wealthiest candidate for Missouri’s open Senate seat.

Valentine reported assets between $67.5 million and $214.7 million in the 38-page personal financial disclosure report required of all candidates and members of the Senate. Originally due May 16, the report was filed Sunday after Valentine received an extension in April

Her income in 2021, the report shows, was between $4.25 million and $30.5 million, or 74 to 533 times the state’s median household income of $57,290.

Personal financial disclosure reports list assets and income in ranges. For example, the largest asset reported by Valentine is her share of Grant’s Farm, a tourist attraction where she grew up, listed at $5 million to $25 million.

“Trudy’s entire life has been defined by service and she’s been clear that running for public office is another form of service,” Elizabeth Markowitz, Valentine’s campaign spokeswoman, said in an email to The Independent. “That’s one of the reasons why she and her husband will put all holdings in a blind trust and why she will co-sponsor legislation to ban members of Congress and their families from trading stock while in office.”

In a news release last week, Valentine pledged not to take the Senate salary of $174,000 if elected. That could run afoul of a state election law barring candidates from “offering or promising to discharge the duties of such office for a less sum than the salary, fees or emoluments as fixed by law.”

The punishment is up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, but no candidate has been prosecuted in memory for such statements.

Valentine was a late entry into the Democratic primary, filing on March 28. It is uncertain how much of her wealth she is willing to dedicate to the race, and her campaign has filed only one disclosure report showing she had spent $894 in the first two days of the campaign.

The next campaign disclosure report is due July 15.

Only two other candidates, U.S. Rep. Billy Long, R-Springfield, and Attorney General Eric Schmitt, both seeking the Republican nomination, have filed reports on their assets and income for 2021. 

Long, who was an auctioneer and sold real estate before winning his 7th District seat in Congress, has assets valued from $2 million to $4.5 million, virtually unchanged from his report for 2020.

Schmitt’s latest filing listed assets valued from $427,000 to $1.1 million in 2021, investment income of less than $2,500 and his $161,6198 state salary. 

All other candidates mandated to file – Lucas Kunce and Spencer Toder in the Democratic race, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, former governor Eric Greitens, St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey and state Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz – have been granted extensions and do not have to file reports until after the primary on Aug. 2.

Valentine’s family previously owned Anheuser-Busch breweries. In 2020, Forbes estimated the Busch family fortune at $17.6 billion, ranking 16th nationally for family wealth. No individual members of the Busch family are on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, where the smallest fortune is $2.9 billion.

Valentine’s campaign would not speculate on how much she is planning to spend in the race, except to say “we will have the resources to win.”

 

Other candidates have already tapped their personal wealth. Schatz loaned $2 million to his campaign for the Republican nomination. Long has put $250,000 into his GOP primary campaign, and St. Louis businessman Spencer Toder has used $240,000 of his own money for his effort in the Democratic primary.

Among Republicans, previous filings showed McCloskey is the wealthiest. The lowest accounting of his assets from the disclosure filed April 6 is $5.9 million, with a high end of $22 million.

Hartzler had the highest asset income of all candidates, She owns farms, a farm equipment business and other investments valued from $4.7 million to $16.1 million jointly with her husband, Lowell Hartzler. In 2020, those assets generated between $1.1 million and $5.2 million, according to a report filed in August 2021.

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Rudi Keller
Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller covers the state budget, energy and the legislature. He’s spent 22 of his 30 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics, most recently as the news editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Keller has won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

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