Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson speaks at a news conference… (Kin Cheung / Associated…)
WASHINGTON — Las Vegas mogul Sheldon Adelson and his family have another $5 million to play with.
The billionaire casino developer is on track to be the biggest individual player in this year’s presidential contest, having boasted that he is willing to spend $100 million or more. He and his wife recently gave $10 million to Restore Our Future, a "super PAC" backing Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Earlier in the campaign, Adelson and his relatives contributed $21.5 million to Winning Our Future, a super PAC supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s bid for the GOP presidential nomination. But when Gingrich bowed out in early May, the group still had $5.6 million in the bank.
So on May 2, Winning Our Future refunded $5 million to Adelson’s wife, Miriam, according to campaign finance reports filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission. May 2 was the day that Gingrich suspended his candidacy.
“Our goal was to help Newt get the Republican nomination,” said Rick Tyler, a spokesman for the super PAC. “When that was out of reach, we gave back the money.”
Winning Our Future did not close up shop, however. On May 31, the super PAC paid its president, Becky Burkett, $110,000, for “executive management” consulting that month. That’s on top of the nearly $270,000 she had already earned for her work running the group.
Burkett told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in early May that the super PAC planned to remain active by supporting Romney and conservative causes.