Washington • Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has raised $100,000 and spent half of that starting up his new political action committee, a new finance report shows.
Huntsman, who lost his 2012 presidential campaign, launched the Red Rock PAC in May to help push the ideas he raised during his bid and to help like-minded Republican candidates across the country. Huntsman previously discounted the idea that he’s ramping up for a 2016 run but setting up a PAC is common among potential candidates.
A Huntsman aide said the Red Rock PAC is just getting started and hadn’t focused as much on fundraising while the former governor was in Asia for the summer.
“We reached out to a few long-time friends before Governor Huntsman left for Asia and their support allowed us to get a basic framework in place which we will now use to execute on his vision for Red Rock PAC,” said spokesman Joe Kildea.
So far, Huntsman has nabbed three large checks from folks who had supported his previous Oval Office attempt, including $50,000 from New York venture capitalist Daniel Lewis. Park City venture capitalist Jim Schwartz tossed in $25,000, as did Julie Finley, who had served as national finance co-chairwoman for President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.
Huntsman’s expenses show signs of a start-up operation, mainly payments for a new website, legal fees, public relations costs and fundraising, according to a finance report filed with the Utah lieutenant governor’s office.
Huntsman also tapped some consultants from his White House bid for help on the new PAC, including his former finance director, Kevin Curran, and former domestic policy adviser Steven Bogden.