Pfizer Inc. and Aetna Inc. were among the biggest donors to the Democratic Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association in the final weeks of 2012, as the political groups replenished their treasuries to prepare for 38 gubernatorial contests this year and next.
Pfizer, the world’s largest drugmaker, donated $250,000 to the DGA on Dec. 19 and $250,000 to the RGA on Dec. 28, according to reports the political groups filed yesterday with the Internal Revenue Service.
Aetna Inc., the third-biggest U.S. health insurer, gave $250,000 to the DGA on Dec. 11 and $250,000 to the RGA on Dec. 17.
Companies often make contributions to lawmakers in both parties to build and maintain professional relationships.
The RGA received $150,000 from Eli Lilly & Co. and $125,000 from Comcast Corp. in the final weeks of 2012.
The DGA and RGA will compete in this year’s gubernatorial races in New Jersey, where Republican Chris Christie is seeking a second term, and Virginia, where former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are vying to succeed Republican Bob McDonnell.
There are 36 contests for governor on 2014 ballots. Republicans now hold 30 governorships compared to 19 for Democrats and one for an independent.