The founder of one of the most controversial US government security contractors is seriously considering running for a Senate seat in Wyoming.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that Erik Prince, founder of the security contractor originally known as Blackwater, is eyeing a Republican primary challenge against Sen. John Barrasso, who will be up for reelection in the 2018 midterms.
Steve Bannon, the former White House senior adviser and current chairman of Breitbart News, has pushed Prince to run as part of his effort to replace “establishment” Republicans in Congress with people Bannon believes will support President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.
Prince, 48, has worked for and donated to numerous Republican candidates and causes, including Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California and conservative Christian lobbying groups. He supported Trump’s presidential run, contributing $ 250,000 to his campaign efforts.
Although he has never held public office, Prince’s potential candidacy comes with significant baggage. Here’s a look at his storied life and career thus far:
Prince is from Michigan, but his work has taken him around the globe, from Virginia to the United Arab Emirates. The Princes are power players in the Michigan Republican Party, and prominent GOP donors at the national level.
Prince’s sister is Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education and former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. Her husband, Dick DeVos, the heir to the Amway fortune, ran for governor of Michigan in 2006 and lost.
DeVos and Prince come from a wealthy family. Their father, Edgar Prince, founded what would become a $ 1 billion company, manufacturing a patent that he sold to General Motors.