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Kaufman Eligible for 50 Richest’

Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) has declared himself out of the running for re-election in 2010, but he is in contention for another contest: a spot on Roll Call’s annual “50 Richest Members of Congress— list.

According to the Delaware lawmaker’s financial disclosure forms, Kaufman and his wife, Lynne, have an estimated net worth of about $7.97 million.

In Roll Call’s 2008 analysis, eight House or Senate lawmakers reported fortunes in the $7 million range, winning spots on the upper third of the list. Then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) snagged the 50th rung, with a minimum net worth of just more than $5 million.

Kaufman served as then-Sen. Joseph Biden’s (D-Del.) chief of staff and administrative assistant from 1976 until 1995 and was appointed to the Senate in January to fill the seat vacated by Biden when he assumed the vice presidency.

According to financial disclosures, Kaufman and his wife maintain broad stock portfolios, as well as $1.87 million invested in Delaware state and local municipal bonds.

In addition, the Kaufmans report numerous certificates of deposit totaling about $1.78 million.

The Delaware Senator also reports ownership of the Kaufman Mayo Foundation, which donated $3,000 each to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Care House of Oakland County in Pontiac, Mich., and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Maryland, according to its 2007 federal tax return.

The Kaufman Mayo Foundation’s biggest asset is a $116,000 investment in Abbott Laboratories, a medical and pharmaceutical manufacturer. Lynne Kaufman also reports a separate $639,000 holding in Abbott Laboratories under her own investment account.

Kaufman, who has said he won’t run for the remainder of Biden’s term in 2010, listed no debts on his disclosure form.

Although disclosure rules allow Members to report assets and liabilities in broad categories, Kaufman provided detailed figures in his initial disclosure report.

After his departure from Biden’s office in 1995, Kaufman became president of political consulting firm Public Strategies, a post he held until December 2008. He received a salary of $75,000 from the firm, according to his disclosure report.

In addition, Kaufman indicated he continues to teach at Duke Law School, where he has taught a course on Congress since 1991, according to his official biography.

Kaufman also served as co-chairman of the vice presidential transition team, earning a salary of $5,500 in November 2008.

Other Senate and House lawmakers who could capture a space on the “50 Richest— list based on their initial financial disclosure reports are Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), estimated net worth $95.7 million; Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), $90.8 million; Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), $29 million; Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), $20.2 million; Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), $17.2 million; Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.), $11.2 million; Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), $8 million; Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Ala.), $7.4 million; Rep. Harry Teague (D-N.M.), $6.3 million; Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), $5.9 million; and Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), $5.3 million.

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