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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Karl Rove strokes a check to Marco Rubio



NBC News: ...One of those Republicans with close ties to the Bush family, Karl Rove, has signaled his preference with his wallet. Rove confirms to NBC News that he has contributed a $1,000 to Rubio's campaign, the donation will be made public when Rubio files his next FEC report (due Oct. 15).

This comes on the heels of Jeb Bush's public signal that he plans to stay neutral in the Crist-Rubio primary; Many believe this is Jeb's way of quietly telling influential Florida Republicans that he'd prefer Rubio but doesn't want to alienate Crist since he's still the heavy favorite in the primary.

The Buzz among Rubio allies is that he raised more than $600,000 in the last quarter - including $65,000 at a recent Jacksonville fundraiser where officially neutral John Thrasher was among the many bigs to show up. While Rubio's burn rate and cash on hand will be critical, that number is certainly enough to maintain his viability and keep this primary interesting. That Rove donation, by the way, came in Oct. 3, and so won't show up in the next finance report.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:21pm]


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