First on CNN: Jeb Bush heading to 2016 primary state

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is considering a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Story highlights

  • Jeb Bush will travel to South Carolina next month
  • The trip marks his first stop to an early presidential primary state in the 2016 cycle
  • Bush is thinking about running for the GOP presidential nomination
Jeb Bush will be the star attraction at a Republican fundraiser in South Carolina next month, his first trip to an early presidential primary state as a possible contender for the Republican nomination in 2016.
Bush, the former governor of Florida and a darling of the Republican Party's donor class, will headline a closed-door October 23 fundraiser for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by CNN.
The high-dollar event will be held at the Capital City Club in downtown Columbia, a short walk from the South Carolina State House, putting Bush in the room with some of the early primary state's biggest GOP movers and shakers.
Couples who pledge $10,000 for Haley's re-election bid and the South Carolina Republican Party are offered the chance to participate in a "roundtable discussion" with Bush, while other GOP donors will be able to attend a private reception and photo op with the former governor. No public campaign events are scheduled.
Bush has political ties to the state, thanks to his brother George W. Bush's hard-fought primary victory there in 2000 over John McCain. Bush family loyalists and financial backers of that campaign have been angling to get Jeb Bush to visit South Carolina for months, but he has kept a relatively low profile for much of this midterm year despite pleas from admirers to step more aggressively into the political arena.
Still, Bush has put his expansive financial network to work for midterm candidates this year from his perch in Florida, hosting a cascade of fundraisers for Republicans, including an earlier event for Haley in Jacksonville that raised over $150,000 for her campaign.
He also headlined Florida events for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. On Tuesday night, he is hosting a reception for GOP Senate candidates in Tampa.
Politico reported this week that Bush also plans to hit the campaign trail in the coming weeks for Senate candidates in Kansas and North Carolina.
Like most politicians dabbling in 2016 speculation, Bush has said he will decide whether or not to run for president sometime after the midterm elections.