McGavick is sitting on $28 million from Safeco
Seattle Times staff reporter
Former Safeco chief executive Mike McGavick reported pre-tax income of $28 million from the Seattle-based insurance company this year, even though he resigned in February to run for the U.S. Senate.
In a personal financial-disclosure report filed with the U.S. Senate, McGavick, a Republican, listed income derived from stock plans, bonuses and performance rewards, some for work he performed several years ago.
The largest chunk, $11 million, came from stock options that Safeco requires its executives to exercise three months after resigning. McGavick also collected a bonus of about $2.3 million for his work in 2005, the campaign said.
McGavick's personal wealth stands in contrast to his campaign coffers. In March, he reported about $750,000 on hand, while his opponent, Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, listed $5.7 million in the bank.
Asked whether McGavick would consider pouring some of his personal fortune into the race, campaign spokeswoman Julie Sund said: "That is a decision up to Mike and Gaelynn (his wife), and they have not made it yet."
The state Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission in April, alleging that Safeco's financial package to McGavick amounted to an illegal campaign contribution.
"This is a special-interest favor from his buddies in the insurance industry," said Kelly Steele, spokesman for Washington State Democrats. Steele said the money was sure to be funneled into McGavick's attempt to unseat Cantwell.
McGavick's campaign dismissed that allegation: "They see the race getting close and these are very typical tactics, so we're not surprised," Sund said.
In 2000, Cantwell spent about $10 million of her own money to defeat incumbent Slade Gorton.
McGavick's personal financial statements also included a separate batch of Safeco stock and options worth between $5 million and $25 million, and a "deferred compensation" retirement asset worth between $1 million and $5 million.
Under liabilities, McGavick listed an interest-free loan from Safeco valued at more than $1 million. The 2001 loan, due one year from the time he left Safeco, helped finance McGavick's home, the campaign said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story. Alex Fryer: 206-464-8124 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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