Married megadonors shower millions on GOP candidates – but not always the same ones
Richard Uihlein (Twitter)

Republican megadonors Dick and Liz Uihlein are one of political fundraising's most powerful couples, showering $230 million on campaigns in the past decade. But, in a reflection of divisions in the GOP, the pair don't always see eye to eye on who to support.

Most recently, Liz Uihlein endorsed Ronna McDaniel as Republican National Committee chair, while her husband backed insurgent candidate Harmeet Dhillon. The couple has often sided with opposing candidates, reflecting ideological differences and highlighting her engaging personality and his sometimes prickly nature, reported Politico.

“Dick is super hard core, and his wife is not so much,” said former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, who earned Dick Uihlein's backing during his 2010 election win. Candidates from “the hard right and the tea party and blow it up and burn it down — those were the kind of politicians that Dick always supported. His wife was a bit more establishment. So, they would often disagree on certain candidates.”

The couple worked together to build the Wisconsin-based Uline business empire that brought in $6.2 billion last year, and they have contributed more than $230 million to conservative candidates and causes in the last decade, along with tens of millions more given to state-level groups.

“They come at it from two different perspectives," said Wisconsin GOP strategist Keith Gilkes. "Dick is ideological and insurgent-focused, and Liz is just more about issues and about mechanics of the campaign and, ‘How are you going to win?’ and ‘What’s your message?"

"They’re completely opposite people in terms of the questions and conversations with candidates," Gilkes added.

Liz Uihlein attends RNC finance events and has served on a fundraising committee for Donald Trump, while Dick Uihlein is drawn to conservative true believers sometimes seen as lost causes, and some GOP leaders bypass him altogether to work with his wife.

“She likes to be a much more influential Republican Party donor,” Walsh said. “Dick could give a f--k about any of that.”