- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - If Republican Jeb Bush’s political contributions offer any signs, there’s little doubt that the former Florida governor plans to seek the 2016 presidential nomination.

More than half of the $122,800 Bush contributed Friday is going to candidates and state Republican Party organizations in the four states scheduled to begin the presidential voting next year.

The candidates include Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. David Young of Iowa, Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Rep. Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, and Rep. Joe Heck of Nevada. Each of the four states’ GOP organizations are receiving $10,000, as is Bush’s home state of Florida, a perennial presidential battleground.

“In the coming months, our PAC will continue to support conservative candidates and conservative policies that will ensure all Americans have the right to rise,” Bush said in a statement, echoing the political action committee’s name, Right to Rise.

Bush has been aggressively raising money this year, and is scheduled to attend a fundraiser in Chicago on Wednesday.

His contributions also went to a combination of younger and diverse Republican House members in New York, Arizona and Utah, including Mia Love, a freshman Hose member from Utah who is African-American.

With a nod to traditional and emerging general election battlegrounds, Bush contributed to the re-election campaign of Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a pivotal state in the past several elections, and to Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia and Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who represent emerging battlegrounds.

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