Tags: GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | 2016 | presidency | GOP | fundraising | pacs

Jeb Bush Gathers Top GOP Bundlers in Latest Nod to 2016 Run

Image: Jeb Bush Gathers Top GOP Bundlers in Latest Nod to 2016 Run
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Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 09:39 AM

With the Iowa presidential caucuses still more than a year away, Jeb Bush is pumping up his political machine as he finally looks ready to announce a White House run.

The former Florida governor has been busy hiring leading GOP operatives and pushing party fundraisers to bring in bundles of cash, The Washington Post reported.

His aides have scheduled new fundraising events in Washington and other cities, and have been pressing cash bundlers to pledge that they will support Bush’s two political action committees, both called Right to Rise and launched just this week.

Bundlers, who collect cash from multiple donors, have each been urged to raise at least $100,000 — by raising the $5,000 maximum — for Bush’s leadership PAC, or larger sums for his super PAC, which can raise unlimited funds, according to the newspaper.

Heather Larrison, a top Republican fundraiser, has been tapped by Bush to lead the efforts of a group of veteran campaign operatives working for the potential Republican presidential candidate, the Post reported.

"This is a start-up, and what is incredible about this start-up is the amount of enthusiasm and support there is for the governor’s vision and message and leadership," said fundraiser veteran Jack Oliver, who is working with Bush on an informal basis along with other operatives and family friends.

Bush aide Kristy Campbell said that the operation was similar to that of other potential presidential candidates, such as Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who also have launched leadership PACs to finance their travel while they mull over a 2016 run.

"Governor Bush has not made a decision on whether he will run in 2016," said Campbell, while noting that Right to Rise leadership PAC will "allow him to travel the country and talk about conservative candidates and causes."

Meanwhile, Bush has been hiring senior party operatives with links to Mitt Romney and other presumed presidential rivals, including Republican campaign finance lawyer Charlie Spies, the paper says.

Spies, who co-founded the super PAC that backed Romney’s 2012 GOP campaign, created the two Right to Rise PACs that make up Bush’s new political machine.

Frank Donatelli, a former deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the Post, "There’s a segment of Republican donors that is very, very enthusiastic about another Bush campaign. They think of him as a known brand."

Bush was due to hold his first fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut, on Wednesday night, and he is scheduled for two events in Washington in the near future, with one of them a meet-and-greet with major donors, the Post reported, citing sources.

"He is definitely reaching out and making meaningful contact," Bush friend Edwin Phelps told the Post. "I don’t think he’ll have any trouble raising any funds at this stage. If you think how far ahead we are, it’s crazy.

"People aren’t really ready, but they will become engaged."

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With the Iowa presidential caucuses still more than a year away, Jeb Bush is pumping up his political machine as he finally looks ready to announce a White House run.
2016, presidency, GOP, fundraising, pacs, campaign
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2015-39-08
Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 09:39 AM
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