A man who used to be the wealthiest supporter of the GOP in Ohio has started donating to Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.
L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner announced in September that he was leaving the GOP, saying he wouldn’t “support this nonsense in the Republican Party” anymore.
The Columbus Dispatch reported on Friday that Wexner has since donated $10,000 to the Ohio House Democratic caucus and $10,000 to Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D).
Wexner and his wife had previously donated about $1.9 million to primarily Republican Ohio campaigns and parties since 2013. His wife, Abigail Wexner, typically donated small amounts to Democrats, the Dispatch noted.
This is his first direct donation to a Democrat in at least five years.
Abigail Wexner also donated $5,000 to Strahorn and $10,000 to House Democrats, the newspaper reported.
Although Wexner said he will now vote as an independent, he also wrote checks to Republicans in the state.
He gave $10,000 to Ohio Speaker Ryan Smith and $10,000 each to the Senate and House Republican caucuses, the Dispatch reported.
Wexner, who had been a Republican since college, said he’s instead been writing notes to friends who are lawmakers and telling them that he’s no longer a member of the GOP.
The billionaire CEO reportedly said in a speech last year that he was “ashamed” by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that erupted in violence and led to the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Wexner was not the first prominent Republican to leave the party in 2018.
Former Rep. David Jolly (Fla.) said earlier this month that he would re-register under no party affiliation with his wife in an attempt to reject partisan politics.
“It’s also just a personal rejection of partisanship. It’s a very comfortable place for us to be,” Jolly said of his decision.
Lori Stegmann, an elected official in Oregon, left the Republican Party in July because she could not condone “the misogyny, the racism, and the unethical and immoral behavior of the current administration.”