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Jeb Bush finance team sets goals for end of June

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The political action committee that’s been raising money for Jeb Bush’s nascent presidential campaign is expected to announce a prodigious fundraising number soon — perhaps as much as $100 million.

But that’s for his Right to Rise PAC. Now that he’s an official entrant into the 2016 GOP sweepstakes, the candidate can “only” raise $2,700 from individuals for his run for the nomination for president.

In a conference call with donors shortly after Bush announced his candidacy before an adoring crowd at  Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus, Heather Larrison, who runs the fundraising for the campaign, announced their “27 for 16” campaign, challenging “co-chairs” to help raise $27,000 by finding 10 people who can give the maximum $2,700 donation for Bush’s primary campaign by June 30.

For those donors who can do that, Larrison said they would be invited to the Bush family compound in  Kennebunkport, Maine, for a special dinner on Thursday, July 9.

“Thank you for the support that you’ve given in the past, and for the support that you will continue to give,” Bush told the donors. “A well-funded campaign with a good strategy and a candidate that’s better everyday is a winning one,” he said.

Bush discussed his schedule for the next week, which begins tomorrow in New Hampshire and includes an appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. “Hopefully, he’ll be kind to me,” the former Florida governor joked.

He’ll also appear on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.

He’s also off to Iowa, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and then ending this week in Tampa on Friday night at the Hillsborough County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner.

“And then the next week we start raising money, and we start campaigning hard, and the people who know me know I’m a pretty focused guy and I’m pretty competitive, so you don’t have to worry about the energy that I’ll bring to this,” he said.

Chief strategist David Kochel said each day on the campaign trail this week will have a specific theme, with an emphasis on the economy Tuesday in New Hampshire.

He said there will be lots of town halls in the mix, where Bush will welcome questions from anyone willing to ask them. “From supporters, from opponents, from people who are undecided, anybody who wants to challenge the governor’s views,” Kochel said.

“We need to accomplish in two weeks what other people have had two to three months to do” were Larrison’s parting words to the donors.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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