Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has conducted an aggressive fundraising campaign over the past six months, putting him on track to raise a record $100 million by month's end.
According to Politico
, Bush has held fundraisers in at least 15 states and Puerto Rico, and has rarely taken more than a day or two off from fundraising. Tickets to events have ranged from just $25 to as much as $100,000 per person.
Bush has three vehicles for raising funds: a leadership political action committee, a super PAC called Right to Rise, and a nonprofit.
"He's been, I think, very thoughtful about it and relentless," Ron Kaufman, a former senior adviser to Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign, told Politico. "And when you are running a marathon, you better be.
"Jeb has an advantage since he was a young man being involved in the marathon even though he wasn't the lead runner, so to speak. He understands it well."
Bush has had the benefit of his influential family connections
to pull in funds, drawing on the networks of his brother and father, and they have attended major events in Texas as well. His sons have hit the trail to raise money from younger donors.
To date his fundraising has focused on his super PAC, which he will no longer be able to raise money for once he declares his candidacy on Monday. The strategy was to go after big checks, in some cases asking donors for seven-figure donations.
His attention will now turn to raising money for his campaign. He has big money events planned this week in New York and Washington, D.C., hoping to raise $1 million and $500,000 respectively.
"As he is flipping the switch, so are we," David Beightol, a former aide to President George H.W. Bush, told Politico. "We've met our goal, and now it's time to move to the next phase."
Insiders report that his fundraising operation has been smooth and expertly executed.
"The fundraising operation has been largely flawless, not to say that everybody they want to sign up has signed up," a veteran Republican strategist told Politico. "It's the no drama division of the campaign."
Supporters have also been impressed by the way he has built personal relationships with donors.
"He builds relationships, remembers names, and like his father is a sender of personal handwritten notes," Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuireWoods, told Politico.
"Let me tell you getting a personal follow-up from a top-tier candidate goes a very long way in forging a bond. When we had him to a super PAC event in Richmond he combined star power with a relaxed, comfortable manner. He was very approachable and seemed interested in all of us.
"My friends were like, 'Where do we send a check?'"
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