Steve Wynn, the man who sat on the fence during President Donald Trump’s tumultuous rise to power, will now be squarely in the arena with the Republican leader. Joining the unofficial “Billionaires’ Club” of advisers and policy makers, Wynn may have surprised a few pundits with his latest appointment.
The Wynn Resorts founder has agreed to become the next finance chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) after the 45th commander-in-chief selected the Las Vegas businessman to help lead the party’s fundraising efforts heading into the 2018 midterm elections.
LifeZette, the conservative online news outlet founded by Laura Ingraham, was first to break the news.
Critics of President Trump’s administration have voiced opposition to the many billionaires that have received appointments from the new leader of the free world.
Wynn isn’t the only casino billionaire that will be corresponding directly with the president. Tropicana and Trump Entertainment Resorts owner Carl Icahn is advising the president on economic issues in a non-governmental capacity.
Wynn for Casinos
A key mission of the RNC is to coordinate fundraising efforts throughout the country, and with Wynn at the helm, casinos could be the perfect setting to host such lavish events.
The GOP currently controls the Oval Office, as well as both chambers of Congress. Part of Wynn’s job as finance chair will be to make sure candidates in key races are adequately funded.
Some of Vegas’ biggest players helped organize Trump’s inauguration. In addition to Wynn, billionaires Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Phil Ruffin, and Carl Icahn’s wife Gail served as finance vice-chairs. Together, they helped raise $90 million to pay for the events that took place on January 20.
During Trump’s primary and presidential campaigns, the then-candidate made numerous stump stops at casinos while visiting Nevada. He appeared at the Nugget Casino in Sparks, and while in Las Vegas, met with supporters at the Venetian, Treasure Island, Westgate, and South Point Hotel.
Fresh off its catastrophic 2016 presidential defeat that seemed to go against all available polling and odds, the Democratic Party is scrambling to regroup before the midterm contests.
Putting Wynn in the chief fundraising role for the RNC is perhaps also due to Nevada’s vital 2018 elections. All four of the state’s US House of Representatives seats are up for election, as is the office of governor and one of its Senate spots in Washington, DC.
Democrats are targeting the Senate race. Incumbent Dean Heller (R) is seeking reelection for a second full term, but numerous strong candidates on the other side of the aisle are mulling a run.
They include Rory Reid, the son of retired US Sen. Harry Reid (D), Nevada’s longtime voice in the nation’s capital. A former member of the Clark County Commission, Rory is an attorney who was unsuccessful in running for governor of Nevada in 2010.
Reid was beaten by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), whose two terms come to an end next year. The conservative has been a friend to gaming, and is reportedly considering running against Heller in the GOP primary.
With Wynn organizing fundraising efforts, and endless millions from Nevadans like Adelson and Ruffin at their disposal, the Republican Party will be well-funded in the Silver State for 2018.