Republicans connected to disparate wings of their party are collaborating to run a super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential candidacy.
The super PAC is called "Conservative Solutions" and was unveiled by organizers on Thursday, four days before the Florida Republican is expected to kick off his 2016 bid. The group is being led by a quartet of political professionals with roots in the Tea Party, the GOP Establishment, the key early primary state of South Carolina and the crucial swing state of Ohio.
The political diversity of the super PAC's organizers along the GOP spectrum reflects Rubio's political approach as a candidate who would run for the nomination as a unifying candidate, rather than a niche insurgent. The super PAC is to be run primarily by Republican consultant Warren Tompkins out of his Columbia, S.C., office. Federal law prohibits Conservative Solutions and Rubio's campaign from coordinating.
"Support for Marco's positive conservative vision and his potential presidential run is growing every day, and I'm honored to help in that effort," Tompkins said in a statement. "This race will be won by the candidate with the best vision for where to take this nation and the resources to ensure that message is heard. Marco has the vision."
Tompkins is a veteran Palmetto State strategist whose career has included stints advising Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush; as well as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP's 2012 nominee; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is mulling a run for president in 2016; and former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who is now president of the Heritage Foundation think tank. Among Tompkins' business associates is Terry Sullivan, a top Rubio advisor.
Another senior advisor to Conservative Solutions is Jon Lerner. The pollster and media consultant has over the years done a lot of work for Club for Growth, the conservative free market advocacy group that often backs GOP primary candidates who challenge Establishment-backed incumbents. Lerner's clients have included Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Tim Scott, R-S.C.
Leading the fundraising is Jon Graham of the Washington-based firm Gula Graham. Their clients include Tea Party Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; and insurgent Reps. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana.
Jeff Sadosky is handling communications. He's a vice president at a bipartisan D.C. lobbying shop. He previously worked on Capitol Hill for Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and before that served on presidential campaigns.
Conservative Solutions is declining to reveal donors or how much money it expects to raise ahead of its mid year, Federal Election Commission filing deadline. The group wouldn't discuss its fundraising strategy but confirmed that it might be active politically on several fronts, including through television and digital advertising. According to FEC records, Conservative Solutions has been in existence since 2013 but has been inactive. The organization reported $86 in cash on hand as of Dec. 31.
Rubio is scheduled to launch his presidential campaign on Monday afternoon in Miami.