Nikki Haley raised nearly $5.5 million into a political action committee established in mid-January to boost Republican candidates in 2022 and expand her political operation as the former ambassador mulls a 2024 presidential bid.
At first blush, the money raised by Stand for America PAC through June 30 might appear modest. But considering the federal limits Haley’s "hard-dollar" PAC is subject to — the group is permitted to collect no more than $5,000 per individual per calendar year — a haul just short of $5.5 million suggests Haley is a strong fundraiser and political force in the GOP despite an unresolved feud with former President Donald Trump.
Stand for America PAC is due to deliver its first filing with the Federal Election Commission on Saturday. The Washington Examiner obtained a sneak preview of the group’s fundraising activity over its first nearly six months in existence. Haley’s PAC is a separate organization from the political nonprofit group she launched in 2019 under the same name. That group can accept contributions in unlimited amounts and does not have to disclose its donors.
Haley, governor of South Carolina for six years before Trump appointed her United States ambassador to the United Nations in 2017, has courted wealthy Republican financiers and appealed to grassroots donors who give in small amounts to raise money for Stand for America PAC. Since its mid-January launch, the group has received more than 89,000 donations and raised $3.8 million from grassroots contributors in all 50 states who gave an average of $42 each.
The remaining $1.7 million in donations came from major donors, among them some of the most prominent givers and bundlers in the party, including those who contributed to Trump’s 2020 campaign. A few have even hosted events for Haley’s PAC. On the list: Miriam Adelson, Doug Deason, Art Fisher, Saul Gamoran, Ken Griffin, Mindy Hildebrand, Charlie Johnson, and Bernie Marcus.
Adelson is the widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson; Deason is a Texas businessman; Fisher, based in North Carolina, is active in social conservative causes; Gamoran, based in Seattle, was a bundler for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential bid; Griffin is a Chicago hedge fund manager; Hildebrand and Johnson were big Trump donors in 2020; Marcus is co-founder of the Home Depot.
The 2024 Republican presidential primary will not get underway in earnest for more than 18 months. But already, the competition is fierce, with potential contenders hitting key early primary states and crisscrossing the country to raise money for Republicans running in the midterm elections. Haley is not the only one to launch a PAC, a political nonprofit group, or both, as a platform for policymaking, politicking, and grassroots engagement.
But Haley, 49, has one of the more developed operations. She has used her political nonprofit as a platform for policymaking and grassroots engagement.
With her PAC, Haley is focused on boosting GOP efforts to recapture the House and Senate in 2022. This endeavor offers the ancillary benefit of enabling Haley to forge relationships across the party and across the country that will come in handy if she runs for president.
Stand for America PAC funds Haley’s extensive political travel — she has headlined or appeared at 55 events in 13 states since February — and doles out money it raises via direct contributions to Republican candidates. The rules allow Haley’s PAC to contribute up to $5,000 to an individual candidate in the primary and another $5,000 to the same candidate, again, in the general election.
Since January, Stand for America PAC has donated $63,000 to Republican candidates.
Meanwhile, Haley has raised an estimated $500,000-plus for House and Senate candidates through headlining fundraisers or signing emails for Republicans running for office in 2022 and party committees. Republicans running in districts heavily supportive of Trump, such as Iowa Rep. Randy Feenstra, and Republicans running in seats that voted for President Joe Biden, like Texas Rep. Beth Van Duyne, have recruited Haley to raise money for them.
The former ambassador’s team is proud of this data point, believing it shows she is a uniquely versatile GOP heavyweight. Haley advisers also are fond of emphasizing how in-demand the former Trump Cabinet official has been on the fundraising circuit. On a recent two-and-a-half-day swing through Iowa, Haley headlined events for the state GOP, Gov. Kim Reynolds, state House Speaker Pat Grassley, Feenstra, and others.
Hanging over these positive developments like a cloud is Haley’s rocky relationship with Trump.
During the former president’s single term, perhaps no administration official navigated Trump better than Haley. But when she criticized Trump for declaring the 2020 election stolen and held him culpable for the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, their good relations crumbled and the Republican base and influential conservative media personalities, still loyal to Trump, revolted.
Whether Haley can patch things up with Trump, or simply overcome his criticism, remains to be seen.
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Original Author: David M. Drucker
Original Location: Nikki Haley PAC off to solid start with $5.5 million in first six months