According to Bloomberg Politics, Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie now has “a core of powerful donors” of the sort he’ll need to compete with Jeb Bush in the GOP’s money primary.
Additionally, former Republican Governors Association director Phil Cox has established America Leads, a super-PAC, giving deep-pocketed donors a place to go with big money should they wish to help Christie with non-aligned contributions.
Cox is also senior adviser for Leadership Matters for America, a political action committee that Christie formed in January to expand his visibility.
Leadership Matters has lured 41 donors, including Texas oilman Al Hill Jr., St. Louis financier Jeffrey Fox and Home Depot Inc. founder Ken Langone, according to a list obtained by Bloomberg News.
The donor list didn’t include contribution amounts, though the fund has a maximum individual limit of $5,000. The roster also includes Jim Klote of Virginia, a fundraiser for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney; Minnesota businessman and 2014 governor candidate Scott Honour; New York investor Nick Loeb and Boston management executive Chris Vincze.
While Cox is slated to head up the America Leads PAC, Paige Hahn will head the super-PAC, and Florida Governor Rick Scott’s campaign finance director Meredith O’Rourke will act as a fundraising consultant. Along with some other hiring announcements, Bloomberg offers a rundown on some of Christie’s deep-pocketed supporters, including Jerry Langer, Finn Wentworth, Greg Brown, Al Hill Jr., Jeffrey Fox, Ken Langone, and others.
Leadership Matters announced hires with ties to former President George W. Bush. They include Brian Jones, who served on Bush’s communications staff in 2004; Kevin Shuvalov, a staffer on the 2000 campaign; and Cary Evans, who was a regional political director in 2004.
Perhaps Christie’s most enthusiastic and helpful donor is Langone, a New York investor and co-founder of Home Depot Inc., who Wednesday hosted a meet-and-greet event for him in Jupiter, Florida.