In Donald Trump's Corner
Robert Mercer and family: $3.8 million
A computer programmer by training, Mercer made a fortune at Renaissance Technologies, a Long Island, New York, hedge fund that uses algorithms to spot market patterns. His middle daughter, Rebekah, oversees much of his philanthropic and political activity. That includes an ownership stake in Breitbart News, the fervently pro-Trump media outlet, and in a company that sells data to campaigns. The Mercers backed Ted Cruz in the Republican primary, but after he dropped out, they redirected the PAC's resources to focus on running anti-Clinton messages, and publicly rebuked Cruz for refusing to back the nominee. One of Mercer's pet issues: returning the U.S. to the gold standard.
Bernard Marcus: $3 million
The son of a cabinetmaker in New Jersey, Marcus co-founded the Home Depot chain of home-improvement stores and made billions. Since stepping down from the company, he's focused on philanthropy and politics. He spoke out against the Occupy Wall Street movement as a founding member of Job Creators Alliance, which advocates for free enterprise and entrepreneurship. In June, he endorsed Trump, citing the importance of appointing conservative judges and of cutting government regulation. According to a report in Politico that cited an unnamed source, he recently contributed $3 million to a pro-Trump super-PAC. A representative for Marcus declined to comment on the report.
Geoffrey Palmer: $2.1 million
Palmer is a third-generation developer in Southern California, known for his faux-Italianate Los Angeles apartment buildings with names like the Da Vinci and the Medici. He's often been at odds with the Democrat-dominated city government. Palmer appears to be new to big-money politics; prior to this election, he had never written a million-dollar check to a political committee. His scuffles with Los Angeles officials may give a hint about his priorities; he's often chafed at government regulations and once called an affordable-housing policy "immoral."
Phillip Ruffin and family: $1.5 million
According to an official biography, Ruffin has owned a dairy, a bank, and casinos. He grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and entered business with one convenience store which soon grew to 65, the bio states. He's a big wheel in Las Vegas, where he controls the Treasure Island casino, and he is a partner with Trump in the Trump International Hotel & Tower. The $1 million that Ruffin gave to a pro-Trump super pac last year appears to be by far the biggest political bet he's made. But it didn't last. After Trump disavowed the group, it disbanded and returned Ruffin's money. More recently, he and his wife gave $500,000 to a committee that collects money for Trump and for the Republican party. Last week, he spoke to the Republican National Convention about his long friendship with Trump.
"Papa" Doug Manchester and family: $948,800