Political organizations with ties to Sen. Marco Rubio have raised nearly $32 million as the Florida Republican accelerates his campaign for president.
The Conservative Solutions PAC, which backs Rubio, announced Wednesday it had raised $16.1 million and that it will show $16 million on hand when its half-year report is filed.
A separate organization, called the Conservative Solutions Project, earlier this week said it has raised $15.8 million to date. That second entity is known as an issues advocacy group and is not supporting any one specific candidate but is instead advocating for an issues agenda; its Web site features an ad that talks about President Barack Obama negotiating a “bad deal” with Iran – and then notes how “Marco Rubio is fighting to stop it” and features lengthy quotes from the senator. The two organizations are affiliated.
While there are restrictions on coordination with or direction from an official campaign, such outside groups effectively extend a candidate’s message and can serve as a repository for big-check donors who have already maxed out on contributions to the main campaign committee.
In a statement, Conservative Solutions PAC’s Warren Tompkins said the group had exceeded its goals for the first half of the year.
“More than that, things are setting up very well for the second half of the year, ensuring we’ll have the resources we need to share Marco’s conservative vision with voters,” he said. “Donors see what Hillary Clinton sees, that no one matches up better against her, no one is better positioned to defeat her, than Marco Rubio.”
Rubio’s official campaign has not yet released its second-quarter fundraising totals. His first-quarter totals – before he was officially a candidate – showed fundraising from across the country and the kind of broad support he’ll need to compete with what are expected to be bigger totals from competitor Jeb Bush.