The nation’s top defense contractors have long been a bastion of support for Republican candidates for office. But this time, they’re with Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic presidential nominee is leading Republican rival Donald Trump by a ratio of 2-to-1 in campaign donations from employees working for defense giants like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. That’s a sharp turnaround from 2012, when defense contractors gave more to then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney than to President Barack Obama.
A number of big names in defense circles have opened their checkbooks for Clinton. They include former Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens; Edward Kangas, who chairs the board of directors at United Technologies; Pam Wickham, the vice president for corporate affairs and communications at Raytheon; John Casey, who leads the Marine Systems division at General Dynamics; Vivek Lall, a senior executive at General Atomics; and Frank Ruggiero, the top in-house lobbyist at BAE Systems, among others.
“All the people I know in the industry who are actively involved in the campaigns are on the Clinton side,” said Thompson, the defense industry consultant. “Clinton has been in public life for decades, her priorities are well understood, and many senior executives in the defense industry know her personally.”
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