Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont’s net worth was estimated between $90 million and $332 million, based on his 2006 financial disclosure according to The New York Times. The Democrat’s current net worth is difficult to pin down because federal disclosures include ranges rather than concrete figures and he has not released updated information because he is no longer running for federal office. He released five years of tax return data in October, showing he earned $18 million combined over that period.
Lamont, 64, comes from a wealthy family with deep ties to politics, The New York Times reported in 2006. He founded a cable television company in 1984 and currently runs a telecommunications company that provides venture capital for new media startups. His wife is also a major player in venture capital and previously developed several biotech firms.
Lamont is running for the second time to be the state’s governor after an unsuccessful primary campaign against then-Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, who went on to win his general election race against Tom Foley, a former diplomat in the George W. Bush administration. Lamont previously unsuccessfully ran for the US Senate in 2006, defeating incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary before losing to him in the general after Lieberman formed his own third party.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ned Lamont Made a Small Part of His Fortune Running a Media Company
After Lamont graduated from Harvard, the Connecticut Post reports, he worked with the cable company Cablevision to set up shop in the state in the mid-1980s. He also borrowed $250,000 from the People’s Bank in Stamford to buy several of what he called “very small, beat-up private cable television systems in New York and Virginia.” He soon launched Campus Televideo, which provided affordable cable TV to college dorms. The company reached over 100 campuses by 2006. He stepped down in 2006 when he ran for Senate, though he remained on the company’s board until it was sold in 2015. “I started the company by borrowing $250,000 and I sold it for 100-plus times more,” he told The Post.
According to partial tax returns released in October, Lamont is still earning millions each year. He earned $18 million in the past five years, including $5.3 million in 2017, according to The Hartford Courant, which noted the money largely came from stocks and capital gains. He paid $3.5 million in federal income taxes over the five years, and $1.3 million in state income taxes.
Lamont’s business success, however, only makes up a small part of his fortune. Much of the assets come from his inheritance, as well as his highly successful wife, Ann. His tax returns were filed separately from Ann.
2. Ned’s Wife Ann Lamont Is ‘One of the Most Successful Women in Venture History’
Ann Huntress Lamont is a renowned venture capital investor who was called “one of the most successful women in venture history” by Forbes, which also featured her on it’s “Midas List.” The New York Times similarly touted her as “one of the most successful women ever in the lofty realm of venture capital” in a 2006 profile.
According to the couple’s 2006 financial disclosure, between $54 million and $193 million of their fortune came from Ann’s work at Oak Investment Partners, while $1 million to $5 million came from Lamont’s company. The Times reported that about half of the family’s assets are listed in her name while 5 percent are listed in Ned’s name.
Ann Lamont developed biotech firms before joining Oak Investment Partners in 1982. She became a general partner at the firm in 1986 and remained with the company until Ned’s Senate run in 2006. Since then she went on to invest in a number of successful health and financial technology firms, including NetSpend, which was later sold for $1.4 billion, and PharMEDium Healthcare, which was acquired for $900 million, according to Forbes. She currently sits on the board of more than a half-dozen firms, including Acculynk, Independent Living Systems, Precision Health Holdings, Hospital Corporation of America, and FreshBooks. Her annual income was estimated at over $15 million per year in 2006.
Ann married Ned in 1983 at his parents’ home, a wedding that was catered by Martha Stewart. The couple had three children and bought a 16-room home they built on five acres purchased for $900,000 in 1992. In 2006, the property was valued at nearly $10 million, according to The Times. The Connecticut Post reports that they have since moved to a $7 million, 8,300-square foot home with eight bathrooms. They also bought an adjoining two-acre property for $1.6 million for “privacy.” The couple also bought a 32-acre lot and a 23-acre lot in 2005, before selling them for $2.2 million.
3. Ned Lamont Comes From a Very Wealthy Family
Lamont was born in Washington to Ted Lamont, who worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Richard Nixon, according to a 2006 profile of Lamont in The New York Times. His mother, Camile, worked as an assistant to Democratic Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, who ran for president in the 1950s.
His great-grandfather, Thomas Lamont, was a partner and chairman at J.P. Morgan, as well as an advisor to Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. His great-uncle Corliss Lamont was a director of the American Civil Liberties Union who ran for Senate in New York twice and published 16 books.
Like many of the Lamont men before him, Ned attended the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy before earning a Bachelor’s Degree at Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from the Yale School of Management. The New York Times estimated that 10 percent of Lamont’s fortune came from his inheritance.
4. Ned Lamont Has Funded His Political Campaigns Out of His Own Pocket
Like many wealthy candidates, Lamont has contributed millions to his own campaigns, albeit with little success to date. This year, he has contributed more than $12 million to his gubernatorial campaign while raising about $800,000 in donations, The Connecticut Mirror reported. The Hartford Courant adds that he spent $26 million combined on his unsuccessful 2010 gubernatorial run and 2006 Senate run.
Connecticut has seen numerous self-funded candidates in recent years. The Courant reported that Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley spent $11 million of his own money in 2010, before he lost the general election to Malloy. WWE mogul Linda McMahon spent $100 million on two unsuccessful Senate bids — in 2010 and 2012 — before she was appointed to head the Small Business Administration by President Donald Trump.
5. Ned’s Opponent, Bob Stefanowski, Is Also Very Wealthy
Lamont is just one of the rich guys vying to be the next governor of Connecticut. Though the estimated net worth of Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski is unclear, The Connecticut Mirror reported that he and his wife Amy earned $9.7 million in 2017 and $6.9 million in 2016.
According to the Connecticut Post, Stefanowski earned an estimated $2 million per year and millions in stock options while he worked in management for companies like GE and UBS before becoming CEO of the Dollar Financial Group, a payday loan company based in London. His wife works as a Realtor. The couple owns a $3 million home in Madison, as well as two beachside houses worth a combined $2.3 million. They previously sold a home in Key Largo, Florida for $2 million.
The Connecticut Mirror reported that Stefanowski has loaned or contributed more than $3 million to his campaign, which had raised a total of $5 million through the end of September. The Mirror added in another report that filmmaker Reverge Anselmo has donated another $2 million to a PAC in support of Stefanowski’s campaign.
Virtually every poll gives Lamont a slight edge over Stefanowski ahead of Tuesday’s election.
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