In February (the month he dropped out), Jeb Bush loaned his presidential campaign $250,000, according to new campaign finance documents. Also: nearly half of the money Marco Rubio’s super PAC raised since he announced his candidacy came in February—the month before he quit.
Bush raised almost $1 million in his campaign’s final days, and contributed almost $157,000 of his own money, separate from the loan. When he dropped out, on February 20, the campaign had $465,000 cash in hand—barely more than the $452,000 in debt it still owed. Thank goodness the former governor was around to bail himself out!
Among his eleventh-hour backers were Steve Wynn, the casino tycoon; megadonor Foster Friess; Shell oil executive Marvin Odum; Louis Rohl, head of a California luxury fixture seller; Jose Mallea, a consultant to the campaign and a former aide in Bush’s brother’s administration; and Richard L. Wyatt, a litigator at Hunton & Williams in Washington.
Chris Christie’s campaign finished the month with $287,000 cash on hand and $485,650 in debt after raising $419,600 and spending $874,000 in February, according to its FEC report.
Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, more than 40 percent of the $58 million Conservative Solutions, the super PAC supporting Bush’s fellow Floridian, Marco Rubio, has raised since the senator announced his candidacy last spring entered the committee’s coffers in February. From the AP:
Many of the contributions came from donors whose favorite candidates had previously failed. In fact, the pro-Rubio surge was concentrated in the days after one-time rival Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, dropped out on Feb. 20.
Poultry magnate Ronald Cameron was Conservative Solution’s top donor in February, contributing $5 million. Cameron, the chief executive officer of Little Rock, Arkansas-based agricultural company Mountaire, had previously given $3 million to a group backing former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, also once a 2016 presidential hopeful.
The insurance executive Hank Greenberg’s C. V. Starr & Company Inc. and Starr International companies gave a total of $5 million to Conservative Solutions. Last year, C.V. Starr gave $10 million to a group backing Bush.
The deadline to file the month’s finance report for February is midnight Sunday, so we’ll have to wait to see whether Rubio loaned himself any dough before calling it quits.