New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is throwing his considerable influence and support behind likely presidential contender Jeb Bush — a coveted endorsement that could pull in big bucks for Florida's former Republican governor, The New York Times reports.
At the same time, the decision could blow a big hole in fundraising efforts for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The Jets play in the Garden State and Johnson has worked with Republican Christie in the past, the newspaper points out.
According to The Times, Johnson has already told associates and friends about his decision to back Bush, though it wasn't clear if Christie even asked for Johnson's support.
But an unnamed source close to Christie said Johnson decision to spurn the governor is rooted in the less-than-generous tax incentives given the Jets under him in comparison to his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.
This past football season, Christie was an unapologetic fan of the Dallas Cowboys,
spending time in the owner's box during the playoffs.
Johnson was an early supporter of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, and waited for him to decide whether he'd launch another bid in 2016 before making a decision on who to support, the Times reports.
Meanwhile, Bush added a bundle to his Right to Rise super PAC in Chicago, raising $4.2 million in two events Wednesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Bush's allies have set a fundraising goal of $100 million in the first three months of this year to get a big leg-up in the GOP presidential primary, Bloomberg has reported.
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