New Senator Enjoyed Rich Hedge-Fund Support

Oct 18 2013 | 10:41am ET

Following the U.S. federal government shutdown and near-default, Wall Street may not be thrilled with the Republicans they helped put in office. But they are hoping a newly-elected Democrat won't disappoint them in the same way.

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker was elected to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday is a special election prompted by the death of longtime Sen. Frank Lautenberg. He rolled to an easy victory over Republican Steve Lonegan in part with a campaign warchest more than eight times the size of Lonegan's, and one filled with hedge fund money.

Booker has pledged to work in a bipartisan manner on Capitol Hill, and his hedge-fund backers are certainly a mixed bag, politically: In addition to money from reliable Democratic donors such as Pershing Square Asset Management's William Ackman and Michael Steinhardt, Booker also won the backing of Republicans like Julian Robertson.

Other donors included Baupost Group's Seth Klarman, Blue Ridge Capital's John Griffin, Eagle Capital Management's Ravenel Curry and Boykin Curry, Falcon Edge Capital's Rick Gerson, Slate Path Capital's David Greenspan.

Boykin Curry, who said that out of "pure self-interest, we would be better with Republicans like Lonegan," told CNBC, "it seems like a perfect time for someone like Cory to enter the Senate. There are a lot of Republican senators who will work with Cory because they know he's not trying to score tactical points off them. Hopefully, he can bring a practical, long-term mindset to all this partisan bomb-throwing."

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