Jeb Bush tapped his deep Florida and Texas roots with his super PAC raising $103 million to support his run for the presidency -- a sum that dwarfs his rivals, Republican and Democratic.
The former Florida governor’s Right to Rise USA super PAC reported Friday that it had raised about $29 million in Florida — the most of any state. Bush’s family roots in Texas also showed, with the committee reporting $17 million raised in Texas.
Bush's father, former president George H.W. Bush, contributed $125,000 to the super PAC and his brother, George W. Bush, gave $95,000. They both listed their occupation as "retired." Dallas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, chairman of BP Capital, contributed $100,000
Florida healthcare mogul Mike Fernandez topped the list of major donors, with a $3 million contribution.
Nearly two dozen donors gave at least $1 million to Right to Rise USA, which accepts unlimited donations and reported in a filing Friday that it raised a whopping $103 million in support of Bush’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
The figure dwarfs the $11.4 million amount Bush's actual presidential campaign raised, with the outside political organizations increasingly serving as powerful, well-financed arms of the campaigns. It also eclipses the totals announced by any other group, Republican or Democratic, active in the 2016 race. Bush cannot legally coordinate with the super PAC now that he’s an official candidate, but he spent months raising money for the group.
In addition to the Cuban-American Fernandez, major donors include Rooney Holdings, Inc., of Tulsa, Okla., which gave $2 million.
California investor William E. Oberndorf, a board member of Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, contributed $1.5 million.
San Francisco investor Helen O. Schwab, wife of financier Charles Schwab, also contributed $1.5 million.
American Pacific International Capital, Inc. contributed $1.3 million and North Palm Beach-based Nextera Energy, Inc. gave $1 million.
Other million dollar donors included Republican mega-financier Al Hoffman, the founder and former chairman of WCI Communities Inc.; hedge fund billionaire Louis M. Bacon; Raul Rodriguez, president of Miami-based Clinical Medical Services, Inc.; and Hushang Ansary, a former Iranian ambassador to the United States whose wife, Shahla Ansary, also gave $1 million.
The numbers demonstrate the former Florida governor’s extensive network in Florida, with Right to Rise pulling in $9.5 million from Miami-Dade county, $6.9 from Palm Beach, $2 million from Hillsborough, $1.3 million from Broward and $1.3 million from Pinellas.
He also raised about $15 million from New York state, including investors and financers; $12 million from California and $4 million from Illinois.
Besides Fernandez, the top 10 Florida contributions include $1 million from Charles B. Johnson, former chairman of the mutual fund company, Franklin Resources; $700,000 from Palm Beach-based investment fund Hunter Global Investors; $505,000 from U.S. Sugar Corp.’s Charitable Trust; $500,000 from Miami Heat owner Micky Arison; $500,000 from Howard E. Cox of Palm Beach and $500,000 from Naples money manager Bruce S. Sherman.
Top contributions from Miami-Dade, in addition to Fernandez, Rodriguez and Arison, include $245,000 from developer Jorge Perez, $218,000 from developer Jay Kislak and $200,000 from Coral Gables-based Cocar Lending,which state records show is affiliated with Bush's former partner, Miami real estate developer Armando Codina.
Hedge-fund manager Bruce Berkowitz, contributed $150,000, as did tech entrepreneur Manuel D. Medina.
Karl Stenstrom, a regular Bush golf partner and the former CEO of a Swedish consumer-products company who made a fortune launching Pergo floors in the United States, gave $130,000. Century Homebuilders, the real estate company run by Bush ally Sergio Pino, who also contributed to Bush's presidential campaign, gave Right to Rise $110,000.