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Wealthy Republican Candidates Seek House

Talk about expensive real estate: A House seat can easily cost millions.

Every cycle, a few wealthy candidates dig into their deep pockets to fund their own campaigns. This cycle is on track to be no different — except that Republicans dominate the ranks of potentially self-funding congressional candidates.

Democrats constituted some of the richest candidates of 2012, including Reps. John Delaney of Maryland, Suzan DelBene of Washington and Scott Peters of California. All three made Roll Call’s 50 Richest list this year.

But in 2014, Republicans boast far more self-funders among their recruits — at least nine so far. In alphabetical order, here are the candidates most likely to financially fuel their own campaigns this cycle:

Businessman Rick Allen, Republican

Allen is challenging Democratic Rep. John Barrow in Georgia’s elusive 12th District. But first he faces a potentially competitive primary in his second attempt for the seat.

So far this cycle, the construction company owner has loaned his campaign $10,000. That’s small change compared to 2012, when Allen put in $640,000 from his own pocketbook (via loans and contributions). He lost the primary to a state lawmaker.

Republicans have — again — named Barrow as a top target in 2014. Allen’s financial largess makes him a GOP favorite to defeat Barrow.

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Leans Democratic

Attorney George Demos, Republican

Demos is running in a competitive GOP primary to challenge Democratic Rep. Timothy H. Bishop in New York’s 1st District. When Demos ran for the House in 2012, he raised and spent around $350,000, according to PoliticalMoney Line.

Demos acquired his wealth fairly recently. Since his last campaign, he married the daughter of Angelo K. Tsakopoulos, a major Democratic donor and chairman of AKT Development Corporation, a real estate firm.

Demos has already loaned his campaign $1 million this cycle.

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Leans Democratic

Former state Rep. Carl Domino, Republican

Domino is challenging freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy in Florida’s 18th District. The successful investment manager is running in a top district for Republicans in 2014.

Last cycle, candidates and campaigns spent nearly $30 million on the seat. Murphy already has $1.4 million in cash on hand.

So far, Domini has loaned his campaign $125,000. But there’s more where that came from: He put $1.3 million of his own cash into four winning and three losing campaigns for local office, according to the The Palm Beach Post.

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Tilts Democratic

Autism activist Elizabeth Emken, Republican

Emken’s bid to unseat freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., marks her third attempt in as many cycles to come to Congress. Each time, she’s shown a willingness to reach into her own pockets to help her campaign.

So far, Emken has put $285,000 into her campaign this cycle. The race for California’s 7th District is a brutal battle for the top two spots next November: Bera faces three Republicans, Emken, former Rep. Doug Ose and former Capitol Hill aide Igor Birman.

Before seeking office, Emken worked at IBM in management, financial analysis and corporate operations and later was an executive for an autism nonprofit, according to her official biography.

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Leans Democratic

Venture capitalist Sean Eldridge, Democrat

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