Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio aren’t just competing for the same pool of donors – they’re now hitting them up on the same day.
Both Rubio, a presidential candidate, and Bush, a likely 2016 contender, plan to attend fundraisers in Washington on April 30, according to invitations for the events. Bush’s supporters are hosting a coffee discussion for him, while Rubio’s supporters have arranged a dinner at the home of Blackstone Group senior executive Wayne Berman.
The dueling events highlight the struggle the two Florida Republicans will face as they compete for support both with voters as well as donors.
When it comes to the money race, members of Rubio’s team say they will raise plenty. But they’re not fooling themselves into thinking they can keep up with Bush. The invitations provide a glimpse at the challenge Rubio faces. While Rubio’s event lists a dozen high-paying hosts, Bush’s lists more than 50.
Bush’s co-hosts include prominent lobbyists, such as Bill Killmer of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Richard Hohlt of The Hohlt Group and Laura Cox Kaplan of PricewaterhouseCoopers. The event will also feature plenty of faces familiar to the Bush family. Also listed as co-hosts are Paula Dobriansky, a former undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs under George W. Bush, and Robert Kimmitt, a former ambassador to Germany who later served as deputy Treasury secretary under George W. Bush.
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Organizers for both events are asking top-tier attendees to raise $10,000. But the Bush event comes with a bigger upside. Donations from the event will be funneled to his Right to Rise Super Pac, which can accept unlimited contributions.
Rubio, meanwhile, will be raising money for his Senate account. That account will be rolled over to his presidential campaign, according to a Rubio spokesman. The maximum allowable contribution is $5,400 per person.
All of this comes one big caveat: Donors can be fickle. These events are early in the campaign process and some of the donors planning to attend these events may just be testing the waters rather than fully committing to any one candidate.