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Both Marriott and Hilton were founded by men with deeply conservative leanings, so it's no surprise that J.W. Marriott, Jr. and his family feel such a kinship to Governor Romney -- even if their support may turn off some guests.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined Marriott International’s board of directors a third time today after previous stints from 1993 to 2002 (he left before being elected governor of Massachusetts), and from January 2009 to January 2011.

Marriott International and its leadership were generous givers to the Republican Party and political action committees during the latest election cycle. According to, the hotel chain and its employees gave $2,190,399 — almost exclusively to the Romney campaign. Marriott Executive Chairman J.W. Marriott, Jr. gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, a super PAC run by Romney surrogates. Below is a partial list of the top givers at Marriott along with the recipients:

Gov. Romney said in a statement, “It is an honor to once again be able to serve in the company of leaders like Bill Marriott and Arne Sorenson and to support the work of the tens of thousands of Marriott associates who make Marriott International the renowned success that it is.”

Marriott is the most politically active hotel group. While other chains make more strategic donations to politicians on the right committees, Marriott is the only one of its peers give so generously to a candidate, political party, or super PAC. This widget shows the total amounts given by the hotel industry directly to candidates during the latest cycle.

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Photo credit: GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, California on Monday, September 17, 2012. Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times/MCT

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