As the Iowa caucuses approach, voters with any lingering doubts about the vigor of Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign could be in for a last-minute shock.
On Wednesday, Bush’s campaign released a massive list of Florida supporters, signaling a move that just might put to rest any misgivings about the former governor’s political stature in his home state.
With the addition of leaders from each of Florida’s 67 counties, Bush’s updated organization now boasts the best grassroots organization in Florida, with more than 1,300 prominent Republicans “from the Panhandle to Key West.” The full list (available below) offers a vast range of grassroots activists, business leaders, college students, pastors, veterans, community leaders and elected officials.
According to a statement from campaign officials, Bush’s following — despite nagging rumors of waning support — is, in fact, continuing to grow, as more voters learn of the candidate’s message and want to elect him the next commander-in-chief, having the skills necessary to lead the nation on day one.
One look at the sheer number of Florida politicos and operatives, taken from all levels of Republican governance, demonstrates Bush enjoys a robust Florida ground game, something far beyond initial grassroots endorsements.
Also, the campaign points out that just a single Florida county in the Bush organization surpasses the support of all other candidates — including fellow Floridian Marco Rubio — in their entire statewide effort. A vast number of Bush supporters had worked with both Bush as governor, and Rubio, who served two years as Florida House Speaker.
“Governor Jeb Bush is a conservative leader with experience, vision, and heart who has what it takes to transform our nation,” said Grant Rish, Bush Gulf County Leader. “There’s no one else who can do what Jeb can do for families here in Florida and across the country.” Rish formerly served as county leader for the Rubio campaign and, at that time, was the senator’s only leader from Gulf County.
Since announcing his candidacy last June, Bush held more than 60 events and rallies in Florida attended by thousands, all while amassing an impressive group of volunteers, interns, and alumni from his time in Tallahassee.
“As Governor, Jeb Bush set the standard against which all other conservatives in Florida have been measured,” says state Rep. Richard Corcoran, the Pasco County Republican who is Florida Speaker-designate for 2016-2018. “He never backed away from a fight and always stayed true to his principles regardless of the consequences.
“Jeb Bush represents the kind of courageous, principled leadership our nation will need to overcome the challenges we face at home and around the world.”
Carole Jean Jordan, chair of the Republican Party of Florida from 2003-2007, notes that when it comes to campaigning hard, “some people claim they get it but don’t.”
“Jeb really gets it,” she said. “In my 30 years of political experience — I’ve witnessed firsthand Jeb’s determination to roll up his sleeves, work hard, work smart, and make the tough decisions necessary to win a successful campaign and run a successful state. I’m confident Jeb will win Florida and win strong.”
“Jeb’s record of job creation in Florida demonstrates he can grow our economy nationally and get Americans back to work,” adds Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the senior U.S. Representative from South Florida. Ros-Lehtinen said Bush knows America needs a foreign policy that regains prestige and is “democracy centered.”
“Jeb is focused on ensuring our nation is once again a global leader,” she said. “And for that reason and many others, it’s my honor to support Jeb for president.”
As further proof, the Bush campaign issued what they (humbly) call “a snapshot” of the names and statistics outlining the Florida organization.
Included in the Bush Florida Statewide network: The Florida Cabinet — Attorney General Pam Bondi, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater — as well as former Governor Bob Martinez, Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings, Attorney General Bill McCollum and Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Bronson.
A large group of Florida’s Republican Congressional Delegation made the list, including Ros-Lehtinen and Congressmen Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Ander Crenshaw, Carlos Curbelo, Mario Diaz-Balart, David Jolly, Jeff Miller, John Mica, Dennis Ross and Daniel Webster. Bush also received endorsements from former U.S. Senators Connie Mack III, Mel Martinez, George LeMieux and former Congressmen Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Michael Bilirakis and Dave Weldon.
County Organizations (with links to the full list):
Broward County team of over 130: http://bit.ly/1WVatr7
Charlotte County team of over 40: http://bit.ly/1Wm2Tef
Escambia County team of over 50: http://bit.ly/1LuX5IC
Hillsborough County team of over 100 http://tinyurl.com/hrq6jqc
Miami-Dade County team of over 300: http://bit.ly/1EEeIEJ
Palm Beach County team of over 140: http://tinyurl.com/zcqb4vv
Additional endorsements include:
All 3 of Florida’s Cabinet Members: http://bit.ly/1HEKHFP
Eleven Congressional Members of the Florida Delegation: http://bit.ly/1HEKHFP (6 former US Senators & Congressman).
Twenty Members of the Florida Senate: http://politi.co/1KLfY8j (5 former Senators).
Forty-three Members of the Florida House of Representatives: http://tinyurl.com/gnxrq7z (18 former Representatives, eight former and current House Speakers).
Thirteen Florida Sheriffs
Four former chairs of the Republican Party of Florida
Thirty-four Florida Student Campus Leaders: http://tinyurl.com/jy7839m
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