Tags: Trump Administration | | GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Marco Rubio | Mitt Romney | Rick Perry

Florida Donors Will Play Big Role in GOP 2016 Fundraising

By    |   Monday, 06 Apr 2015 05:42 PM

Plenty of Republican fundraising dollars are up for grabs in Florida, and former Gov. Jeb Bush isn't the only candidate to whom the money is going.

While Bush's super-PAC has already received millions of dollars from megadonors in the Sunshine State, Politico reports that there are tens of millions of dollars that other GOP candidates can make a play for.

During the 2012 presidential election cycle, Florida came in second as a source of money from donors, giving a total of $31 million to Republican candidates. That number is expected to grow in 2016.

According to Politico, the money in Florida differs from that of other big donor states such as New York, California, and Massachusetts, where it's fairly predictable which types of candidates it will go to. In the Sunshine State, the donors' taste in candidates is much more diverse, which creates more opportunity for a variety of candidates.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has a fundraiser scheduled for Tuesday to raise dollars for his campaign committee and leadership PAC. Attendees include pro-Israel donors that are linked to Sheldon Adelson, but Nick Iarossi, who is organizing the event, said that doesn't mean Adelson is interested in backing the Florida senator.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has reportedly made visits to the Sunshine State in search of fundraising dollars from megadonors Stanley and Gay Gaines and Frayda and George Lindemann.

According to Politico, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hired the former finance director of Florida Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign and attended a mixer in Jupiter, Florida, organized by Ken Langone, founder of Home Depot.

A Jacksonville mayoral candidate recently got help from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in an effort to raise money for his campaign, and the Texas Republican is expected to return to see if he can raise some money in the Sunshine State on his own behalf.

The donors in Florida vary from libertarians to conservatives from Wall Street.

"The traditional businesses that funded Florida politics were the real estate, home builders and farmers. That's what you relied on," said Brian Ballard, a fundraiser and Florida lobbyist who worked for former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the current Florida governor.

"Now it's entrepreneurs. Investment bankers. The model you see now is folks who have made a pile of money who could live anywhere — well, many of them want to live here," Ballard added.

It's also significant for Republicans because of the strong Latin American population in Florida.

The giving may grow significantly more than that of 2012, given the well-developed relationships Bush and Rubio already have with major donors.

One major Rubio donor has already reportedly said he's ready to give the Florida senator $10 million for his campaign. Rubio is slated to officially announce his candidacy on April 13 from Miami's Freedom Tower.

"There's a cultural donor class down there who provide an awful lot of resources and money and support for candidates, but you have to know how to talk to them and who they are," said Rick Wilson, a Florida Republican consultant.

"Jeb and Marco have a great deal of fluency with those people because they both are known quantities," Wilson added.

While other candidates can and will tap into Florida money, Politico predicts that most of it will end up going to the two candidates from the state.

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Plenty of Republican fundraising dollars are up for grabs in Florida, and former Gov. Jeb Bush isn't the only candidate to whom the money is going. While Bush's super-PAC has already received millions of dollars from . . .
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Monday, 06 Apr 2015 05:42 PM
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