The trucking industry contributed $5.79 million to election campaigns for the 2018 midterm cycle, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, with industry donations heavily favouring Republican candidates. However, a few of the top benefactors of trucking contributions lost their bids for re-election.
The top recipient of trucking-contributed campaign dollars, incumbent Republican Rep. Jeff Denham of California, barely beat his opponent, Democrat newcomer Josh Harder.
Other top recipients include Rep. Sam Graves (R-Missouri), who won his re-election bid; Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nevada), who lost to Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen; Marsha Blackburn, a Republican who won Tennessee’s open Senate seat; and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pennsylvania), who lost his seat to Democratic challenger Bob Casey.
Democrats on Tuesday were able to gain a majority in the House of Representatives, meaning leadership positions, such as those on the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its subcommittees, will transition to Democratic representatives.
Republicans will likely retain control of the Senate.
According to CRP data, this is the fourteenth election cycle in a row that trucking contributions favoured Republicans, dating back to the 1992 presidential election.
This cycle, trucking industry donations to Republican candidates totalled $4.22 million, while donations to Democrats was $835,851 — an 83 percent to 16 percent split.
Total trucking contributions dipped to its lowest point since the 2010 midterms.
Denham received $104,000 from the trucking industry, according to data from CRP. Denham has been a strong proponent of initiatives by the American Trucking Associations and other trucking groups to assert federal trucking regs over those enacted at the state level, such as break law requirements enacted in Denham’s home state of California.
ATA was again the industry’s largest contributor, donating $645,768 to campaigns this cycle, according to CRP data. Nearly 67 percent of those contributions went to Republicans.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association made $152,000 in contributions, with 72 percent favouring Republicans and 28 percent going to Democrats.
Other top trucking contributors include Old Dominion Freight Line, the National Tank Truck Carriers group, Schneider National, Knight-Swift Transportation, Fitzgerald Peterbilt, Crete Carrier, the Truck Rental & Leasing Association and Navistar International.