Jeb Bush raises $114m for presidential bid

2015-07-10 15:24
Jeb Bush. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

Jeb Bush. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

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Washington - Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush raised $114.4m in the first six months of the year to fuel his White House ambitions, a historic amount that takes full advantage of the nation's evolving campaign finance laws.

No candidate for president has benefited from so much money so early in a campaign. The total is sure to eclipse the fundraising of each of the other 16 major competitors for the Republican nomination.

The former Republican governor of Florida is taking a unique approach to a presidential bid, delegating many operations to an affiliated group that is free of limits on how much money a traditional campaign can raise from individual donors.

The strategy is untested in modern politics, the outgrowth of court decisions in 2010 that led to the creation of what is called the super political action committee.

The affiliated group, Right to Rise, has been active since January. Run by a Bush strategist, it said Thursday it had raised $103m between January and the end of June.

Right to Rise is not subject to the limits placed on donors to Bush's campaign. The suggested donation at Right to Rise events was often as much as $100 000.

The rest, $11.4m, came to Bush's formal campaign in the 16 days between its kickoff and the end of June. Contributions to the formal campaign are limited to checks of no more than $2 700 for the primary and general election.

That amounts to an average of roughly $710 000 a day, which the campaign touted as more than the $562 000 per day average raised by Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton since she launched her campaign April 12. Clinton's campaign haul in that time totaled $45m.

Bush's campaign must provide additional fundraising details, including the names of donors and how much they gave, to federal regulators by Wednesday night.

Right to Rise's haul of $103m in six months exceeds the $79m Priorities USA Action raised during the two-year 2012 election cycle to support the re-election of President Barack Obama, and is two-thirds of the $154m raised by the super PAC backing Republican Mitt Romney in those years.

By law, a super PAC can't take direction from a campaign, and the two operations have limits on how they can communicate.

Right to Rise will handle a huge part of the costly work of running for president, including buying TV, online and radio commercials, conducting polling and even doing some organising tasks such as voter outreach in early primary states.

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  jeb bush  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

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