By one metric, J.D. Vance could be considered the favorite among CEOs of S&P 500 companies.

That’s because the Ohio Republican has attracted more money from current or recent S&P 500 chief executives than any other candidate engaged in a competitive 2022 Senate race, according to a MarketWatch analysis.

The venture capitalist and “Hillbilly Elegy” author has received a total of $45,800. The funds come from TransDigm Group TDG, +3.00% CEO Kevin Stein and former Cintas CTAS, +0.78% CEO Scott Farmer who have given $25,000 and $20,800, respectively, of their own money to Vance Victory, a joint fundraising committee.

The table below shows the five candidates in competitive Senate contests who have raised the most from S&P 500 SPX, +1.40% CEOs.

After Vance, incumbent Democratic senators get the next four spots, with Colorado’s Michael Bennet at No. 2 with $37,600, followed by New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan, Georgia’s Raphael Warnock and Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto.

The 5 Senate candidates in competitive races getting the most money from S&P 500 CEOs

Kevin Stein TransDigm Group J.D. Vance $25,000
Scott Farmer* Cintas J.D. Vance $20,800
Total $45,800
Reed Hastings Netflix Michael Bennet $15,800
Hikmet Ersek* Western Union Michael Bennet $10,800
Debra Cafaro Ventas Michael Bennet $5,000
Larry Fink BlackRock Michael Bennet $5,000
Michael Rapino Live Nation Michael Bennet $1,000
Total $37,600
Kenneth Frazier* Merck Maggie Hassan $5,800
Michael F. Neidorff* Centene Maggie Hassan $5,800
Sarah London Centene Maggie Hassan $5,800
Richard Norwitt Amphenol Maggie Hassan $5,800
Michael Rapino Live Nation Maggie Hassan $2,900
Michael Mussallem Edwards Lifesciences Maggie Hassan $2,000
Roger Hochschild Discover Financial Maggie Hassan $1,000
Total $29,100
Reed Hastings Netflix Raphael Warnock $11,600
Kenneth Frazier* Merck Raphael Warnock $5,800
Edward Bastian Delta Raphael Warnock $5,800
Dan Amos Aflac Raphael Warnock $5,800
Total $29,000
Kenneth Frazier* Merck Catherine Cortez Masto $5,800
Michael F. Neidorff* Centene Catherine Cortez Masto $5,800
Sarah London Centene Catherine Cortez Masto $5,800
William Hornbuckle MGM Resorts Catherine Cortez Masto $2,800
John Ketchum NextEra Energy Catherine Cortez Masto $1,000
Roger Hochschild Discover Financial Catherine Cortez Masto $1,000
Total $22,200

Source: MarketWatch analysis of processed Federal Election Commission data for the 2022 election cycle as of Oct. 31, 2022.

* No longer CEO

The Senate contests considered competitive for MarketWatch’s analysis are the nine currently rated as toss-ups or “Lean D” or “Lean R” by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. They are the races in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Both TransDigm, an aerospace and defense company, and Cintas, which provides uniforms and other products to businesses, are based in Ohio, the state that Vance seeks to represent in the Senate as he battles his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan.

The giving by the two companies’ CEOs could be an effort to make a connection with a powerful fellow Ohioan, according to Michael Beckel, research director at Issue One, a nonpartisan watchdog group that aims to reduce the influence of big money in politics.

“It makes sense that Ohio-based companies would want a good relationship with their senator,” Beckel told MarketWatch.

TransDigm and Cintas didn’t respond to requests for comment, while Vance’s campaign declined to comment.

Vance is “controversial,” but Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman has backed him, noted Bruce Freed, president of the Center for Political Accountability, a nonprofit that pushes for better transparency around corporate political spending.

“The fact that Portman, who had been viewed as a moderate, has endorsed him, would make a contribution by a corporate person, let’s say, more acceptable,” Freed told MarketWatch.

Portman’s decision to retire led to the Ryan-Vance race.

Vance won Ohio’s GOP Senate primary after getting former President Donald Trump’s endorsement despite his past criticism of Trump. His campaign also has gotten attention for benefiting from a $15 million contribution from billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel.

Vance last month responded to a MarketWatch questionnaire about his stances, saying he wants to end tax loopholes for tech companies and ban congressional stock trading.

See: Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance answers 5 questions from MarketWatch

And read: Tim Ryan quips J.D. Vance is an ‘ass kisser’ during pair’s first Senate debate

MarketWatch’s analysis of political spending by CEOs includes anyone who held the post of chief executive at any S&P 500 company in 2021 or 2022, so donors such as Cintas’ Farmer or the late Michael Neidorff of Centene are featured, even though they are no longer in that job.

Now read: Here’s what the midterm elections could mean for the financial sector, energy, healthcare and more

Also: Republicans have over 70% chance of winning Senate in midterm elections, betting markets say