Another super PAC is coming to the aid of former Gov. Rick Perry in the 2016 presidential race.
Set up last week, the new group aims to put Perry in the White House, just like the existing Opportunity and Freedom PAC. Calling itself "Opportunity and Freedom I," the second super PAC is connected to the first one, and shares the same leadership in Austin Barbour, a Mississippi-based Republican strategist.
In an age when just about every presidential candidate has a super PAC backing him or her, the notion of multiple super PACs boosting a single contender is less typical but apparently catching on. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's supporters made waves earlier this year when they set up a network of super PACs — four, to be specific — that claimed to have raised a whopping $31 million in their first week.
Now, Perry's backers are sensing an opportunity to offer donors more options.
"This arrangement gives donors a higher level of participation in the process," said Jordan Russell, a spokesman for the pro-Perry super PACs. He did not rule out the addition of other super PACs under the same umbrella.
Since its creation in March, the Opportunity and Freedom PAC has most notably worked to promote Perry by purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars in airtime in early-voting Iowa. The super PAC has run three TV ads in the Hawkeye State, most recently a 30-second spot highlighting Perry's record on border security.
Super PACs, which can raise unlimited amounts of money, have until July 31 to disclose their finances for the first half of the year. Barbour said Monday the Opportunity and Freedom PAC was on track to meet, if not exceed, its goals, and its haul will "show a lot of confidence" in Perry.
The latest super PAC is based in Washington, D.C., according to paperwork received Friday by the Federal Election Commission. Its treasurer is Washington, D.C., lawyer Stefan Passantino, who has the same job with the Austin-based Opportunity and Freedom PAC.