Sanchez's net worth is pegged at about $500 million, thanks to interests in banking, oil and technology. The Laredo, Texas, businessman has spent nearly $60 million campaigning for President Bush's old governor's post. But recent polls have the political novice trailing Republican opponent Rick Perry by 9 percentage points. Perry has grilled Sanchez over the 1988 failure of his Tesoro Savings and Loan, a venture that resulted in a $161 million federal bailout.
6. Amo Houghton (Rep.) Representative, New York Net Worth: $475 Million
Houghton, former chief executive of Corning, was close to being Congress' first billionaire just a couple of years ago, according to Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. Then the telecom bubble burst, decimating Corning's stock price and evaporating much of the representative's net worth. The moderate Republican, who voted against the Bush-backed Iraq resolution, has also served on the boards of several major companies, including Procter & Gamble, IBM and Citigroup.
7. Jon S. Corzine (Dem.), Senator, New Jersey Net Worth: $300 Million
The limousine liberal spent $60 million to win a Senate seat a couple of years ago, stoking the political ambitions of other civic-minded fat cats. After earning his MBA from the University of Chicago, Corzine joined Goldman Sachs in 1975 as a bond trader, then worked his way up to chairman and CEO. He left the investment firm in 1999, after overseeing its initial public offering. Now spends his days blasting excessive corporate pay packages.
8. Herb Kohl (Dem.), Senator, Wisconsin Net Worth: $250 Million
The Harvard Business School grad made a fortune by selling Kohl's, his family's grocery and department store business, to tobacco interests in 1979. Six years later, Kohl again struck gold, buying the Milwaukee Bucks for a paltry $19 million: Minus debt, Kohl's stake in the team is now worth about $130 million. The soft-spoken Democrat, elected to the U.S. Senate in 1988, donated $25 million to the University of Wisconsin for a new sports arena seven years ago.
9. Jay Rockefeller (Dem.), Senator, West Virginia Net Worth: $200 Million
Rockefellers usually spend their lives either trying to augment the wealth created by patriarch John D., or trying to use it to improve the world. The 67-year-old junior senator of West Virginia chose the latter path, but along with relative Winthrop, remains among America's richest politicians. After graduating from Harvard, Rockefeller went to West Virginia in 1964 to do volunteer work in a small mining town. He decided to stay, running for the state's House of Delegates two years later.
10. Mark R. Warner (Dem.), Governor, Virginia Net Worth: $200 Million
Politics helped propel Mark Warner to wealth, and wealth helped make him a rising political star. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1980, he learned of the potential size of the mobile-phone market through a political contact. Warner began snatching cell-phone licenses and later sold them for huge profit. The Democrat has leveraged his $200 million net worth to further his political agenda, donating millions to local charities and establishing venture capital funds in Virginia's poorer regions.
For more, go to Forbes.com..