Slideshow Bankers Turned Politicians

Published
  • February 12 2014, 7:30am EST
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Bankers have plenty of complaints about government, yet a steady stream of industry notables is striving to join the public sector's ranks. Former and current executives, central bankers and other financiers have sought and held political office through the years, both at state and national levels. Here are some who made - or have tried to make - the leap.

(Image: Thinkstock)


Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.

Delaney won a redistricted House seat in 2012 and stepped down as chairman of CapitalSource, the commercial finance company he founded. His banking background has already given the freshman House Financial Services Committee member a seat at the policy table. Meanwhile, he has downplayed recent rumors that he will run for Maryland governor.

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Alexi Giannoulias

The struggles of Chicago-based Broadway Bank, which Giannoulias' family owned until it failed in April 2010, became an issue in his bid for Barack Obama's former Senate seat. Giannoulias, who began his career at the bank, lost the election to Republican Mark Kirk, whose campaign ran ads mentioning the bank's troubles. Giannoulias now works for BNY Mellon.

Alex Sink

Numerous former and current bankers are running in upcoming congressional races, including Alex Sink, who headed the Florida operations for NationsBank (now part of Bank of America). She is the Democratic nominee in a special election in Florida's 13 District. Others include Republican J. French Hill, CEO of Delta Trust and Banking in Little Rock, who is running in Arkansas' 2nd District.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Before politics, Virginia's new governor helped found Washington D.C.-based Federal City National Bank, which chose him as the youngest bank chairman in history. He later took a financial hit from the 1990 failure of American Pioneer Savings Bank, which was owned by his father-in-law. McAuliffe then was involved in a deal to buy real estate from the failed thrift through the Resolution Trust Corp.

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Herman Cain

He was never a private banker, but the one-time GOP presidential frontrunner - known for his "9-9-9" economic plan - did sit on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City while he was chief executive of Godfather's Pizza. He was the board's chairman from January 1995 to August 1996. "It was my privilege to work with Herman very closely during his five years on the Kansas City board," then-bank president Thomas Hoenig said in 2011.

Jon Corzine

Corzine, who served both as a U.S. senator and governor of New Jersey, was Goldman Sachs' CEO before entering politics. After losing reelection for governor to Chris Christie, Corzine's career went full circle when he became CEO of the broker-dealer MF Global. The firm declared bankruptcy in 2011 as authorities investigated the disappearance of missing customer funds.

(Image: Bloomberg News)


Rep. Paul Gillmor, R-Ohio

The late congressman had the unique position of being a senior House Financial Services Committee member while simultaneously being chairman of the family-controlled $363 million-asset Old Fort Banking Co. A community bank advocate, Gillmor was a central figure in congressional attempts to block retailers from owning banks.

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Neel Kashkari

Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs vice president, was tapped by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to manage the rollout of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. After running a bond fund in California, Kashkari recently announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination for California governor.

(Image: Bloomberg News)


Former Rep. Pete Stark

Former Rep. Pete Stark served California's 13th congressional district for three decades, but before he entered Congress in 1973, he founded Security National Bank, a small institution based in Walnut Creek, Calif.