While Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands (LVS) have cut-throat competition between their companies’ performance and political donations, Nevada’s top federal campaign contributor has yet to grab headlines (until now). Cary Katz, who started a student loan company in Las Vegas, donated, along with his wife Jacqueline, $860, 800 during the last election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This is more than double the amount donated by Steve Wynn and his ex-wife Elaine, at $390, 400, and not to be outdone (at least by Steve Wynn), Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam donated $391, 000. The Center for Responsive Politics list of top 100 donors has Adelson at 83rd, Wynn at 84th and Katz ranking 36th.
Katz founded the College Loan Corp. in 1999. It manages $10 billion in assets, has 800, 000 borrowers and is the 7th largest student loan company in the country. Katz is also chairman of the organization Stop Child Predators and is president of St. Gabriel Catholic School. In addition, Katz is a world-class poker player. His total wins in World Series of Poker tournaments since 2009 have totaled $1.7 million, including $1.3 million this year. One popular ESPN clip shows Katz and Conner Drinen both drawing pocket aces during a $1 million buy tournament.
Katz, Wynn and Sheldon are the only Nevadans on the list of top 100 political donors, and they have mainly donated to the Republican party, although Wynn has given $5, 000 to the Democratic Party and liberal organizations.