Three of Jeb Bush’s top fundraisers have quit his presidential campaign team under unclear circumstances in a shocking move that raises fresh doubts about Bush’s viability as a presidential candidate.
The race for the Republican presidential ticket is gaining momentum and deep pockets are gradually separating the top contenders from the rest of the field. Just how will their exit have an effect on the former governor’s bid for the White House?
Kris Money, Debbie Aleksander and Trey McCarley, announced they had formally quit Jeb Bush’s team on Saturday. The three Florida based fundraisers said they left voluntarily, and that they would still be working with Bush’s Super PAC, the Right to Rise SuperPAC.
The three did not respond to questioning about their exit. However Miller did say, “Governor Bush has the widest and deepest fundraising operation of any candidate in the field. Ann Herberger — a longtime aide with more than two decades of experience in state and national politics — will continue to lead the operation in Florida with our team in Miami.”
Different reports have emerged from Bush’s team explaining the exit of the three. One source attributed their exit to personality conflicts within the team. The conflicts were allegedly with regard to Heather Larrison, Bush’s finance director, whom many have described as being a shouter and difficult to work with.
Other accounts narrowed down to Money saying he was a haughty and carried a donate-or-else high handedness to potential contributors.
One campaigner said, “They were glad to go. This wasn’t a shock to anybody. There were just some personality problems. It happens when you have a big organization like this, a big campaign. Some of the national people are tough to work for.”
The three had crafted an image for themselves in Florida Republican circles. Aleksander was a long standing active member of Bush’s administration during his time as governor. Money is very close to Republican former House Speaker Will Weatherford and McCarley was part of Commissioner Adam Putner’s team.
The exit of the three leaves a huge gap in Bush’s Florida team. His campaign managers have moved with pace to try and fill the gap by recruiting Meredith O’ Rouke. Meredith has earned a reputation for being one of the top fundraisers in Florida. She was previously aligned with Chris Christie before leaving in July.
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump seized the opportunity to throw jibes at one of his rivals. He took to Twitter and joked, “Wow, Jeb Bush just lost three of his top fundraisers - they quit!”
The exit of the three fundraisers will mean a gap in Bush’s donation raising efforts in Florida. However, the son of and brother to former presidents may not be faced with liquidity problems for his campaign, maybe only on how to spend. According to one campaign consultant, “Jeb might not have a fundraiser problem. He might have a spending problem.”