Congress

Kentucky: Eight members of Congress, seven millionaires

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the wealthiest member of Kentucky’s Washington delegation, though with $22.1 million, he only ranks at No. 40 among 535 members of Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the wealthiest member of Kentucky’s Washington delegation, though with $22.1 million, he only ranks at No. 40 among 535 members of Congress. AP

While seven out of eight members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation are millionaires, none of the state’s six members of Congress or two senators comes close to matching the wealth of some of their colleagues.

According to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of lawmakers’ 2014 personal financial disclosures, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is worth an estimated $22.1 million, ranking first in Kentucky and No. 40 among the 535 members of Congress.

Republican Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington has the smallest net worth of his Kentucky colleagues: At $335,500, he’s No. 395 overall. Barr, an attorney, was first elected in 2012.

Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, is the second-poorest member of Kentucky’s delegation, though he’s still a millionaire. With $1.2 million, he ranks at No. 255.

By contrast, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California ranks first at $436.5 million; Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democrat, is No. 3 overall and first in the Senate at $242.9 million.

At the other end of the spectrum, Rep. David Valadao of California, a Republican, has a negative net worth to the tune of $25 million. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Valadao, a dairy farmer, took out several lines of credit to keep his farm running.

$43,000 Kentucky’s median annual household income.

Those in leadership positions aren’t always the wealthiest. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, once known for sleeping in his office, ranks at No. 99 with a net worth of $5.5 million. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California ranks even lower than Barr: $306,500, placing him at No. 406.

Kentucky’s lone Democrat, Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville, ranks No. 46 in Congress with a net worth of $18.6 million.

Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the panel that controls the purse strings, ranks No. 135 with $3.8 million. Rogers, the most senior member of Kentucky’s delegation and its fifth wealthiest, was first elected to Congress in 1980.

Behind McConnell and Yarmuth, Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green ranks at No. 111 in Congress with a net worth of $4.8 million. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville ranks at No. 129 with $4 million. Whitfield, first elected in 1994, is retiring at the end of next year.

Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican who represents northern Kentucky, ranks at No. 174, with $2.8 million.

The base salary for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate is $174,000 a year. Kentucky’s median household income, according to the census, is $43,000 a year.

Curtis Tate: 202-383-6018, @tatecurtis

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