WASHINGTON – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush now has a serious GOP fundraiser in East Texas backing his early presidential efforts.
Oil and gas attorney Gaylord Hughey Jr., the top GOP bundler of East Texas, said in a Thursday interview with The Texas Tribune that he will round up Piney Woods money for Bush.
“I think he’s pragmatic. I think he’s thought a lot about his positions,” Hughey said in a phone interview. “I don’t think he will change his public policy positions to pander to folks, and I think that authenticity will come through in his campaign."
"And I think it will make him successful,” he added.
On Sunday, the Tribune named Hughey as one of the most sought-after Republican bundlers in the Lone Star State.
Earlier this year, Hughey was a fundraising free agent.
“I want to hear everyone out before I commit my time and resources to supporting an individual candidate,” he told the Center for Public Integrity in January.
Hughey said he is a big fan of former President George W. Bush, but he did not know his brother well until recently. Jeb Bush and Hughey met in Dallas about a month ago.
Bush closed the deal.
“I know enough now that I feel like I can justify my time and ask my friends to participate if he decides to run for the Republican nominee,” Hughey said.