Loeffler’s husband becomes billionaire as polls open in Georgia runoff

Polls for crucial Georgia runoffs opened statewide at 7am on Tuesday 

Louise Hall
Tuesday 05 January 2021 16:31
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Millionaire Kelly Loeffler mocked for ad claiming 'we need someone who knows what it's like to wait on a paycheck'

Senator Kelly Loeffler has become the wealthiest member of Congress after her husband became a billionaire just before polls opened for the Georgia runoffs, a report has said.

Bloomberg reported on 30 December that the incumbent senator’s husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, saw his company’s Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE), stock rise 22 per cent by the end of 2020, helping to make him a billionaire. 

Mr Sprecher’s company is now worth $63 billion and underpins much of the global financial system, the outlet reported, hiking the couple's worth from an estimated $800 million fortune this summer.

Sen Loeffler, 50, previously worked as an ICE executive for more than a decade, initially leading investor relations and later also took on communications and marketing, according to the agency.

The couple, who married in 2004, faced intense scrutiny earlier this year after reports accused them of selling more than $20m in stock since being briefed behind closed doors on the coronavirus crisis.

Read more: Follow live updates on the Georgia Senate runoff election

At the time Sen Loeffler said that her portfolio is "managed independently by third-party advisors and she is notified, as indicated on the report, after transactions occur".

The married couple said they planned to liquidate their individual stock shares following the backlash to “move beyond the distraction and put the focus back on the essential work we must all do to defeat the coronavirus”.

Through an ICE representative, Mr Sprecher declined to be interviewed or comment on his net worth when contacted by Bloomberg. Sen Loeffler’s campaign also did not comment on the report, the outlet said.

Sen Kelly Loeffler did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.

The news of the hike in Mr Sprecher’s fortune came just before Georgia voters began casting their ballots in the 5 January runoff in two contentious races that will determine which party holds control of the US Senate.

In the regular election, Republican incumbent David Perdue is facing a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff. In the special election, GOP appointee Kelly Loeffler is defending her seat against Democrat Rev Raphael Warnock.

Democrats need to secure both seats in the races to tie the number of seats with Republicans. Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris would then have the deciding vote whenever there is a 50-50 tie.

The results will have significant implications on President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to pass legislative agenda on high-profile issues such as the pandemic, healthcare, and the environment.

Sen Loeffler, who won the temporary appointment when Johnny Isakson stepped down in 2019, has stirred controversy on a number of occasions throughout her campaign, with critics saying she has compounded political division in the state.

Last month the senator faced backlash after she was pictured with a former Ku Klux Klan member at a rally, but her campaign insisted that the senator had “no idea” she had posed for a selfie with.

She also enthusiastically accepted an endorsement from Controversial QAnon candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has come under fire by Democrats and even members of her own party for her controversial views.

Sen Loeffler’s campaign page states that the incumbent advocates “for freedom and pro-growth policies that propel our country forward and create economic opportunities for all Americans.”  

Polls for the runoffs opened statewide at 7am on Tuesday and are scheduled to close at 7pm.

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