Marco Rubio makes strongest indication yet of a White House run in 2016

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Through a conversation with about two dozen major donors, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is giving the strongest indication to date that he is considering a White House run in 2016.

Supporters who raised $200,000 for Rubio in the past met with the Miami Republican met for a conversation this week to discuss the pros and cons of a Senate re-election versus a presidential campaign.

Their fundraising proficiency was “needed more now than ever,” Rubio said at a meeting in the W Hotel in Washington D.C. last Wednesday, sources told POLITICO.

Rubio expects to make a decision sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

“He was pretty forward leaning,” said one person who attended the meeting. “He basically said if I can raise the money, I am going to potentially run.”

“American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone,” Rubio’s forthcoming book, will outline his political vision for America.

“Dreams” is set for a mid-January release, followed by a promotional book tour.

Dinner guests included members of the Washington fundraising committee Rubio launched in the summer of 2013. POLITICO noted that heading the group is Scott Weaver and Dirk Van Dongen of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. Joe Wall of Goldman Sachs, former New York Republican Rep. Bill Paxon and Stephen Replogle of Cove Strategies are also members of the team.

Each member was given a fundraising goal of anywhere between $20,000 and $200,000.

Earlier, the group had “exceeded its aggregate” target for the 2014 election cycle, one source told POLITICO. Rubio expects to “aggressively front load the calendar” in 2015.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.