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West Virginia’s Members of Congress Wealthiest, Arkansas Lawmakers are Poorest

Capito is a member of the richest delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Capito is a member of the richest delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, the richest  member of Congress, might hail from California, but the Golden State does not actually have the richest delegation, according to the first-of-its kind Roll Call ranking of every single member of Congress  based on financial disclosure forms covering 2013.  

Roll Call’s ranking by minimum net worth as of the 2014 disclosures gives readers a clear view of which states truly have the richest and poorest delegations and the widest gaps between each state’s lawmakers.  

The richest delegation distinction goes to West Virginia, with an average net worth of $23.6 million. The No. 4 richest member of Congress hails from the Mountain State: Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, worth at least $108.05 million.  

Through Rockefeller’s wealth boosts the state’s average net worth, West Virginia still came out on top when comparing the median net worth for each state because of the wealth of the state’s other four lawmakers. 
Only one West Virginian, Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, is worth less than $1 million. (There are at least 188 millionaires serving in Congress.) But Capito, who is in a competitive race for the Senate, is not too far behind her fellow West Virginians with a minimum net worth of least $450,000 according to the Roll Call ranking.  

Maryland and its 10 lawmakers comes up behind West Virginia with an average net worth of $11.5 million. The state with the third richest delegation is Maine, with four members having a collective average net worth of $10.3 million.  

At the other end of the spectrum, Arkansas is home to the poorest delegation, with an average net worth of $32,503.  

Four of Arkansas’ six representatives are in debt, including vulnerable  Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor. His challenger, GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, is one of the two Arkansas members not in debt. Cotton is worth at least $120,000.  

California has the widest gap, with Golden State lawmakers flanking the Wealth of Congress list with both Congress’ richest and poorest members, a spread of more than $361 million.  

Issa took the top spot as the wealthiest member with a minimum net worth of $357.25 million. Fellow Republican Rep. David Valadao was the poorest lawmaker with roughly $4 million in debt.  

Six members of the California delegation were among the 50 richest lawmakers , the most from any one state. But the Golden State also outnumbered other states with three lawmakers on the 10 poorest lawmakers list.  

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