A month before Dave McCormick’s announcement Thursday of his second run for a US Senate seat from Pennsylvania, he was the guest of honor at a party hosted by fashion designer Tory Burch at his sprawling Hamptons estate, according to to some attendees.
McCormick, the former CEO of hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates, was surrounded by the Who’s Who of Wall Street as they celebrated his new book, “Superpower in Peril.”
More than 100 attendees included the former Goldman Sachs executives Lloyd Blankfein, Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, according to the people who were there.
Other guests included current Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, and Bob Steel, vice chairman of investment banking giant Perella Weinberg.
Mnuchin served as Treasury Secretary under former President Donald Trump, while Cohn was one of Trump’s top economic advisors.
Many of the party attendees have privately signaled that they will likely support McCormick in a bid to unseat Sen. Bob Casey, the Democratic incumbent, through campaign donations or fundraising efforts, according to people familiar with their plans.
Other likely backers include Paul Singer, the president of investment giant Elliot Investment Management, and Black stone CEO Steve Schwarzman.
A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman declined to comment. Representatives for McCormick, Burch, Mnuchin Cohn, Singer and Schwarzman did not immediately return requests for comment to CNBC.
Steel told CNBC that he plans to support McCormick, as the two have been close for years.
Steel said the event at Burch’s house was a “book party” where no politics were discussed.
But, Steel says, “There’s definitely a Venn diagram of people who attend the book party and people who want to help Dave or help Dave again.”
McCormick plans to make his announcement in Pittsburgh, The Associated Press reported.
The singer and other wealthy donors plan to huddle for a strategy briefing Friday backed by the pro-McCormick super PAC, Keystone Renewal, according to an invitee.
McCormick and his wife, Dina Powell McCormick, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs, are expected to call, this person explained.
Dave McCormick worked in the Treasury Department of the Bush administration. Dina has held roles in the Bush and Trump administrations.
Those who declined to be named in this story did so on condition of anonymity to speak freely about private matters.
If these executives pour money into the race, it will signal how expensive the overall campaign for Casey’s seat is.
It will also mark the latest election for McCormick to see a wave of wealthy donors flock to his corner, as many of these business leaders backed his failed 2022 primary run for the Pennsylvania Senate seat currently held by the Democrat John Fetterman.
When McCormick last ran for the Senate, his main rival in the Republican primary was TV host Dr. Mehment Oz.
The two ended up spending more than a combined $40 million of their own money on the campaigns, with millions more raised from other contributors, according to data from OpenSecrets.
Oz defeated McCormick in that primary after the veteran TV host received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. Oz eventually lost to Fetterman.
The Oz and Fetterman campaigns have raised more than a combined $120 million during the 2022 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.
Spending during the general election campaign, after including investments by supporters of political action committees, ended up being more than $350 million, according to the data.
This is one of the most expensive Senate races in the 2022 cycle.
Political strategists say the battle between Casey and McCormick in 2024 could exceed that tally.
“Casey and McCormick can both bring more resources to the fight than first-time candidates Oz and Fetterman,” said Alex Conant, a former political aide to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and a partner at Firehouse Strategies, on CNBC.
“It’s a presidential year, so the media will be more expensive. Pennsylvania is a must-win state for both parties, so there’s no holding back.”
Christian Ferry, who previously worked for Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and late GOP Sen. John McCain, said, “Each cycle these totals continue to rise.”
“And given the competitiveness of the 2022 race and the importance of this seat to both parties in a presidential year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the total matched and surpassed,” Ferry said.
The race already has outside teams positioning themselves to spend big on McCormick’s race against Casey.
The Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC that supports Democrats running for Senate seats, released an email Thursday before McCormick’s announcement, taking aim at the former Bridgewater CEO’s business record and how he lived. in Connecticut.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party publishes online video ripped McCormick with a similar message.
McCormick has news pledged the support of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC funded, in part, by Koch Industries, already has promoted McCormick, a sign that they are willing to spend a lot of money to support him over Casey.
McCormick, meanwhile, has been spending time at the historic Burch estate with some of the same wealthy corporate leaders who likely helped finance a costly campaign.
Burch owned the luxurious Westerly estate in Southampton, on Long Island, New York.
His residence spans 15,000 square feet and is known as one of the “grandest houses” in the wealthy Hamptons enclave, according to Architectural Design magazine.
The estate is considered one of the “most important estates on eastern Long Island” and features 25 rooms, including an “enormous ballroom and grand terrace that set the stage for the legendary social events of the elite members of Southampton and Palm Beach society,” according to others magazineleading Estates of the World.
The house also features a “brick carriage house, tennis court, swimming pool, pavilion, and sunken garden that adorn the lush grounds,” the magazine said.
Burch paid about $16 million for the property, according to News Day.