Wine retailer David Trone, who is self-funding his campaign for the Democratic nomination for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District, earned at least $14 million in salary and income from partnerships and investments in 2015, according to a financial disclosure report filed with the House of Representatives.
The report sharpens the picture of deep wealth in the top tier of the primary race, in which nine Democrats are vying to succeed incumbent Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is running for the Senate. Trone has already spent several million of his own dollars for television and radio ads and direct mail in the district, which includes much of affluent Montgomery County.
Former news anchor and Marriott executive Kathleen Matthews and her husband, MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, reported assets of between $22.5 million and $61.3 million in 2014, the last full year before she became a candidate. Income from stocks and other investments was between $526,000 and $1.2 million. Kathleen Matthews earned $1.4 million in salary in 2014 as Marriott’s chief of global communications and public affairs officer. Her disclosure statement does not include her husband’s salary.
A third candidate in the field, state Sen. Jamie B. Raskin, reported that he and his wife, Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, had assets of between $2.8 million and $6.8 million. Raskin, Matthews and other candidates submitted their disclosures before Trone, who had more time because he filed for candidacy just before the Feb. 3 deadline.
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Trone, co-owner of Total Wine & More, a national chain of 132 big-box liquor stores, earned just over $1 million in salary as president of Retail Services & Systems, the Bethesda-based parent company for 31 subsidiaries that operate stores in Delaware, Virginia and North and South Carolina.
The lion’s share of his reported earnings are in the form of partnership and other income from 70 retail stores for which he is listed as co-manager or president. Income from the holdings, along with dividends and interest from other investments, came to between $12.7 million and $26.4 million in 2015, according to a Washington Post analysis of his disclosure form.
The total value of assets — some of which are held by his wife, June Trone — are between $17 million and $68.5 million, according to the information filed. Federal financial disclosure rules allow assets and income to be reported within broad ranges.
Among Trone’s biggest sources of reported income was “over $5 million” in 2015 as president of Cherry Hill Wine & Spirits, which operates two stores in New Jersey. A store in Towson, Md., operated by TFWS, which lists Trone as president, also generates income in the “over $5 million” category.
Trone listed between $1 million and $5 million in partnership income from each of two companies: DRT Wine & Spirits, which operates a store in Bloomington, Minn., and Florida Fine Wine & Spirits, which operates 26 stores in that state. Trone serves as co-manager and president of both entities.
In all, Trone reported income from 11 companies that operated at least 70 Total Wine stores. But he reported no income from another 36 companies, listed in another section of the form, where he is a director, president or co-manager. It was not clear how many stores are operated by those firms.
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Trone communications director Mary Werden said the campaign had no comment on the particulars of the report, which was filed late Friday, in advance of the legal deadline, which is 30 days prior to the April 26 primary.
Trone listed as his sole liability a personal loan of between $1 million and $5 million he received from TFWS in July 2002. The only information about the two homes listed — one in Potomac and the other on Lake Meade in East Berlin, Pa., was that each was in a “qualified personal residence trust.” Such trusts are generally used as estate planning instruments to limit tax liabilities.
The Potomac home is assessed at $2.4 million, according to City Data. The lake house is assessed at $1.4 million.
Trone is also listed as a trustee of the David and June Trone Family Foundation Trust, which reported $4 million in assets in 2013, according to the Guidestar, a database of financial information about nonprofit organizations. The Trones donated $15 million to the American Civil Liberties Union late last year to fund a center to study criminal justice reform.