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St. Louis mega-donor drops $425K into Missouri campaigns in last week

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St. Louis mega-donor drops $425K into Missouri campaigns in last week

Oct 03, 2023 | 11:00 am ET
By Jason Hancock
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St. Louis mega-donor drops $425K into Missouri campaigns in last week
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Rex Sinquefield at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis on May 7, 2012 (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images).

Rex Sinquefield, a retired investor from St. Louis and Missouri’s most prolific political donor, cut $425,000 worth of checks to PACs supporting eight different candidates in the last week — with the largest going to bolster Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe’s bid for governor. 

The donations come as the third quarter fundraising period ended on Saturday. 

His $250,000 contribution to Kehoe brings Sinquefield’s total given to his campaign to $750,000.

Sinquefield also donated $25,000 each to two GOP candidates for state treasurer — state Sen. Andrew Koenig and state Rep. Cody Smith. He gave $25,000 to Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, who is rumored to be eyeing a run for secretary of state, and to Sen. Denny Hoskins, who is already in that GOP primary. 

He also donated $25,000 to two state representatives running for the state Senate: Phil Christofanelli and Chris Dinkins, and to a state senator who is term-limited, Tony Luetkemeyer. 

Raised in a St. Louis-area orphanage, Sinquefield made his fortune after founding the money management firm Dimensional Fund Advisors. He retired in 2005 and returned to Missouri.

Since then, he has donated millions through the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation to various causes, including a music composition program at the University of Missouri in Columbia and the St. Vincent Home for Children, the orphanage where Sinquefield grew up.

A huge chess enthusiast, Sinquefield worked to turn St. Louis into the nation’s chess capital by relocating the World Chess Hall of Fame there.

He also began spending big in politics, primarily in service to his main policy priorities: Revamping the state’s education system and eliminating the Missouri income tax. Over the last decade, Sinquefield has given more than $42 million in campaign contributions in Missouri — mostly to Republicans, though not exclusively.