Billionaire tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and invested early in Facebook, gave $10 million donations to two political outsiders seen as America First Republicans, who are running in Ohio’s and Arizona’s battleground Senate races in 2022.
Thiel’s donations to “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, an Ohio Republican, and Thiel Foundation executive Blake Masters, an Arizona Republican, break with the vast majority of Silicon Valley’s overwhelming support for far-left Democrats, The Hill reported.
“The combination of Peter’s money and his libertarian political views could be a powerful force in the GOP this cycle,” said GOP donor Dan Eberhart. “Peter is a serious power broker in Republican politics right now.”
The contributions appear to be the largest-ever donations to Super PACs in American electoral history.
Thiel also supports Vance’s Cincinnati-based venture capital firm, Narya Capital.
Vance’s economic and political alliance with Thiel is strange because Vance has been a fierce critic of runaway investment capitalism, unearned income, and high-interest rate loans.
Vance has stated that investment firms must use their money to support American companies, rather than international conglomerations, that hire American workers to produce real products—not apps or technological trinkets.
Masters has never held political office.
He started as one of Thiel’s employees and eventually became chief operating officer of Thiel Capital and president of the Thiel Foundation.
One Republican operative who supports Vance and Masters said their friendship and political alliance with Thiel “very likely explains” the high-dollar donations.
With a net worth estimated at $2.2 billion, Thiel plans to throw his weight behind numerous Republican Senate, House, and gubernatorial candidates.
Thiel, a self-described libertarian, reportedly contributed millions to support former President Donald Trump and as many as 50 other Republicans, CBS News reported.
“Peter has a vision for America that includes more personal freedom and less government intervention, and he’s willing to put up his own money to make it a reality,” Eberhart said.