Candidate Romney rakes in LBO dough

Wall Street may currently favor Barack Obama, but buyout pros are standing firm behind former colleague Mitt Romney.

The ex-Bain Capital chief raised about $257,525 from buyout pros in the first quarter of 2007, according to data compiled by (a compansion website of PE Week). This compares to just $85,350 for Obama; $47,900 for Hillary Clinton; $47,900 for Rudy Giuliani; $41,450 for John McCain; $14,600 for Chris Dodd; $9,900 for Bill Richardson; and $7,400 for John Edwards during the same three-month period.

Individuals are permitted to donate up to $2,300 to a single candidate for a single election cycle, which adds up to $4,600 if the donors opt to give to the candidates before the primary and general elections. Over half of Romney’s private equity donors have hit the $2,300 limit, while all but a small handful have committed at least $2,100. Only one Romney donor—Charles Hanemann, managing director of H.I.G. Capital—has donated $4,600.

Other $4,600 contributors include Chris Santana and Michael Weinstock of Quadrangle Group (both donated to Giuliani); Bradford Freeman of Freeman Spogli & Co. (McCain); Brooke Coburn and Bruce Rosenbloom of The Carlyle Group (both Obama); and John Canning and Paul Finnegan of Madison Deaborn (both Obama).

This data was compiled from the Federal Election Commission’s disclosure database, and likely excludes certain donations made by smaller private equity investors, or by investors who did not identify their place of employment. The database listed more than 250 donors who are identified with PE firms. —Dan Primack