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Nationally, $3.67 billion will be spent on the 2014 midterm elections.

While most Montanans give nothing but their votes to politicians, some residents give much, much more, according to two non-partisan groups that track state and federal donors.

The Chronicle has identified Montana’s top 10 donors in the 2014 election cycle, according to campaign and political action committee donations tracked by the National Institute of Money in State Politics and the Center for Responsive Politics.

1. Dennis Washington, Missoula – $129,000

Montana’s self-made billionaire Dennis Washington of Missoula tops the list of political contributors in 2014. With an estimated $6 billion in net worth, Washington this cycle made $129,000 in political donations. The man who controls Montana Rail Link and a copper mine in Butte has been paying both parties and their candidates for years. This year he gave $100,000 to the Democratic Governors Association – a group that has spent more than $40 million to elect liberal candidates this year.

Washington, 80, also gave $25,000 to the GOP’s Congressional Leadership Fund, a group that has spent nearly $10 million attacking Democratic candidates across the nation. At home, Washington gave $4,000 to the Montana Republican Party.

2. William Morean, Red Lodge – $115,200

In 2012, billionaire William Morean retired from Jabil Circuit, an electronics manufacturing company founded by his father and headquartered in Florida, to move to his 6,000-acre ranch near Red Lodge.

This year, Morean has contributed $100,000 to the conservative super PAC American Crossroads, which has spent over $20 million helping Republican candidates, including $149,937 spent opposing Montana’s Democratic Sen. John Walsh before Walsh left the Senate race in August.

Other contributions rounding out Morean’s $115,200 in donations include $10,000 to the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, a group that has spent over $1 million favoring Republican candidates, $2,600 given to Florida Republican congressional candidate David Jolly, and $2,600 to congressional candidate Corey Stapleton, who lost the Montana GOP House primary to Ryan Zinke.

3. Greg Gianforte, Bozeman – $69,330

Unlike the top two contributors, Bozeman millionaire Greg Gianforte has spread his money around the election field this cycle, giving to state and federal candidates and committees.

His two largest donations, more than $12,000 each, were to the Republican Governors Association PACs in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Gianforte gave $6,500 to the Montana GOP, $9,000 to the Montana Republican State Central Committee, $10,200 combined to Daines and Daines’ PAC, and $5,000 to Rob Astorino, the Republican candidate for governor of New York. Gianforte has also donated $5,200 to the GOP Senate candidate in Michigan. In the Montana House race, Gianforte backed a losing conservative candidate, Matt Rosendale, with $3,400. Zinke, who beat Rosendale in the June primary, has since received $2,500 from the Bozeman businessman.

Gianforte has also given the maximum $170 donation to at least 12 Montana state legislative candidates, including Bozeman Republican Jedediah Hinkle and $320 to state Supreme Court candidate Lawrence VanDyke.

4. Dirk Adams, Wilsall - $32,570

Dirk Adams, a banking executive turned Wilsall rancher, gave $30,000 to his own campaign to become the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, putting him fourth on the list. Adams lost the June primary and was later passed over again when Walsh resigned. Besides his own campaign, Adams has given $570 to the Montana Democratic Party and $2,000 to Democratic U.S. House candidate John Lewis.

5. Carter Stewart, Billings - $30,200

Petroleum geologist Carter Stewart has donated $10,000 to the Montana Republican State Central Committee, $15,000 to the Daines Victory Fund Committee, $5,200 to Daines’ campaign, and $2,600 to GOP House candidate Zinke.

6. Mary Stranahan, Arlee - $29,020

Mary Stranahan moved to Montana in 1981 and founded the Mission Valley Health Center in St. Ignatius. She is one of six children who inherited a fortune from her grandfather, who founded the company that later became the Champion Spark Plug company.

In the 2014 election cycle, Stranahan has given $21,000 to the Montana Democratic Party, $5,200 to Lewis, $2,000 to Walsh, $500 to Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, and $160 to two Democratic state candidates.

7. Susan Gianforte, Bozeman - $28,030

Susan Gianforte has made maximum donations to the same conservative candidates in Montana as her husband. Daines got $5,200 directly and another $5,000 to his victory fund from Susan Gianforte, who lists her occupation as homemaker. She backed Rosendale’s bid to be the GOP’s House candidate but has since given Zinke’s campaign $2,500. Locally, she backed Hinkle and Livingston’s Debra Lamm.

8. Douglas Coffin, Missoula - $25,967

Montana’s Democratic state Sen. Douglas Coffin is a professor at the University of Montana. Like Adams, Coffin self-financed his 2014 re-election campaign with $25,127. He also gave $250 to Lewis, $200 to Adams and $390 spread among three state legislative candidates.

9. Sam Baldridge, Whitefish - $25,150

Whitefish’s Summerfield “Sam” Baldridge, an executive at the Kootenai Resources Corp., has donated $25,150 to federal Republican candidates and committees. Baldridge, 57, backed Rosendale in the GOP House primary and Daines with maximum donations. That’s on top of the $10,000 he gave to the Republican National Committee, $3,000 to conservative committees and $2,000 spread among four candidate campaigns, including Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker. He also donated $500 to the Tea Party Patriots.

10. Corey Stapleton - $20,690

Stapleton, a financial adviser from Billings, has donated $525 to the Montana Republican State Central Committee this year. But the bulk of Stapleton’s donations, $20,415, were to his failed campaign to become Montana’s Republican candidate for U.S. House.

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Troy Carter can be reached at 582-2630 or on Twitter at @carter_troy.

Troy Carter covers politics and county government for the Chronicle.

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