Right to Rise, a super PAC that favors Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, has raised millions of dollars as he prepares for a long primary battle on his road to the White House. And notable donors to the PAC include a Texas oil man, a Wall Street financier and several former U.S. ambassadors, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The Right to Rise super PAC has already set a record fundraising pace by collecting $103 million in the first half of 2015. The campaign is expected to be supported by a strong surge of funds that is not likely to be matched by Bush’s rivals, both Democrats and Republicans, the Journal reported, adding that the biggest donation to the PAC came from Mike Fernandez, a Cuban-American billionaire, who contributed $3 million.
“Most of these individuals have known Governor Bush for a long time and are true believers in his ability to govern,” Jeanne L. Phillips, a senior vice president of Hunt Consolidated Inc. of Texas, and one of the members of the super PAC’s executive committee of 13 fundraisers, told the Journal. “We want to raise as much money as we can in order to fight an effective fight and win.”
Besides Phillips, fundraisers who have donated or raised at least $1 million for the super PAC include Brad Freeman, chairman of a California private equity firm; Alex Navab, head of KKR's private equity business in the Americas; Craig Duchossois, CEO of Illinois-based Duchossois Group; oil man Ray Hunt of Hunt Consolidated Inc.; and Barclays Managing Director Steve Lessing, the Journal reported.
In addition, a significant amount of money has also come from many people outside the committee, including New York Jets' owner Woody Johnson, who gave $1 million to the PAC before becoming the official campaign’s finance chairman. Super PACs are independent committees operated by the candidate’s allies, who are not allowed to coordinate with the official campaign.
The super PAC initially put a $1 million limit on donations but later lifted the cap to cope with competition from other PACs, the Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the fundraising arm of Right to Rise.
The super PAC said in a fundraising summary earlier this month that more than 9,900 donors contributed to it, and 500 of them gave $25,000 or more. Official details of funds raised so far by Right to Rise will be released next Friday, according to the Journal, which acquired the details beforehand.
“The important thing is not just raising more money than everyone else but knowing what to do with it,” Politico quoted Charlie Black, a longtime GOP lobbyist, as saying. “Most of [Jeb’s] money is in the super PAC, and Mike Murphy and those guys know what to do with it. It should allow him to run effectively in a whole bunch of states.”