MaverickPAC Donates to Ted Cruz, Other GOP Upstarts

MaverickPAC Donates to Ted Cruz, Other GOP Upstarts

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - September 11, 2012

MaverickPAC, a group focused on promoting Republican rising stars and engaging young conservative voters, has announced a third round of donations totaling more than $55,000. The money will benefit competitive congressional candidates, with the largest amount going to Texas U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz.

Cruz, who attracted national attention earlier this summer by winning an underdog fight for the GOP nomination in the Lone Star State, received $5,000 from the PAC. Co-chaired by George P. Bush (the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush) and Jay Zeidman, the political action committee supported Cruz in his primary; given Texas's red-state status, the Republican figures to join the Senate next year.

House candidates Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Mia Love of Utah received $2,500 and $1,000, respectively, and are often touted by national Republicans as up-and-comers to watch this cycle. Love, the African-American Mormon mayor of Saratoga Springs, rallied Republicans on the opening night of the GOP convention in Tampa two weeks ago. “Members really like her; these are people who represent the new party . . . the big tent the GOP has become,” said Zeidman, whose group aims to woo young professionals to the party.

MaverickPAC donated to over 20 congressional candidates in September. In addition to its contributions, the PAC plans to help with get-out-the-vote efforts in competitive races around the country. “Taking back the Senate is as important as winning the presidential,” said Zeidman, noting the tight race for control of the upper chamber. The action committee is also playing on the presidential level: It gave $5,000 to Mitt Romney in July.

Senate candidates Connie Mack of Florida and George Allen of Virginia, both running in difficult presidential battlegrounds, each received $2,500 from the group. Senate hopefuls Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Richard Mourdock of Indiana, Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, and Linda Lingle of Hawaii also received $2,500. The PAC has already maxed out its donations to Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Rep. Allen West, a Tea Party freshman who has been a divisive figure in the House, received $2,500 for his re-election campaign in Florida. (Former President Bill Clinton will keynote a fundraiser Wednesday in Palm Beach for West’s Democratic challenger, Patrick Murphy.)

The group is focusing its youth engagement in Florida, a state Zeidman said “could be a deciding factor this year.” MaverickPAC will launch a Sunshine State bus tour on Thursday through Gainesville, Orlando, Tampa, Naples, Palm Beach and Miami, visiting seven colleges as well as the prominent retirement community called The Villages, where Paul Ryan campaigned in August with his mother. The tour will end Sept. 20. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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