David Trone would be among wealthiest members of Congress

Democrat David Trone, the Montgomery County businessman running in the 8th Congressional District, would be among the wealthiest members of Congress if elected, according to a personal financial disclosure statement he filed Friday.

Trone, co-owner of Bethesda-based Total Wine & More, holds at least $17 million in assets, and earned between $13.7 million and $27.4 million last year, the statement showed. The Potomac man reported owing his company between $1 million and $5 million.

Those numbers would rank Trone as roughly the 29th-wealthiest member of Congress, just ahead of Arizona Sen. John McCain, based on an annual analysis by Roll Call.

Trone's net worth is important because he has said he will virtually self-finance his campaign for the open 8th District, currently held by Rep. Chris Van Hollen. Trone is limiting individual donors to $10, and is declining to take money from political action committees.

He nevertheless splashed onto the Maryland political scene with a multi-million advertising campaign this year.

Trone, a longtime political donor who hosted President Barack Obama at his home for a fundraiser last year, acknowledged when he announced his candidacy that he would have to spend "a lot more money than anybody else" to raise his awareness of his campaign and added that he was "happy to do that."

The financial disclosures, which are filed with the Clerk of the House, are not a perfect representation of wealth. Candidates and elected lawmakers disclose their assets and income in broad ranges, for instance they value an asset being worth somewhere between $1 million and $5 million, or "over $5 million."

Trone listed assets worth at least $17 million, but up to nearly $69 million.

All but $1 million of his income was unearned, derived from his holdings. He earned just over $1 million in salary from his business.

The report also shed light on the extent of Trone's business empire, which he began with his brother in Delaware in 1991. Trone holds the position of president in nearly four dozen separate incorporated entities -- such as Connecticut Fine Wine & Spirits and Cary Fine Wine -- that are presumably related to Total Wine & More.

He is a trustee at Furman University and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

To assess members' wealth for the rankings, Roll Call uses the lowest numbers in the asset ranges and subtracts the lowest number in the liability range to estimate net worth.

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