- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee rolled out Tuesday a list of big-time fundraisers who will help raise cash for the fall elections, as the billionaire businessman takes another step away from the self-funded nature of his primary campaign.

“It is my great honor to help raise money for the Republican party to ensure Hillary Clinton is defeated in November and Republican candidates maintain the majority in the House and Senate,” Mr. Trump said in a statement, calling the money “an investment in the Republican party and the future of our country.”

The RNC said the “Trump Victory Committee” has already begun raising support across the country and is actively recruiting chairs in all 50 states.

The group’s first fundraising dinner will be Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Vice chairs of the effort include Ray Washburne, who was the finance chairman for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential campaign and a Texas co-chair for 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Another vice chair is Woody Johnson, the New York Jets owner who served as the finance chairman for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign and who was a major money man for Mr. Romney’s 2012 campaign.

The announcement is another strong signal that many corners of the GOP establishment are continuing to coalesce around Mr. Trump’s campaign, as Mr. Romney and Mr. Bush have been among the billionaire businessman’s harshest Republican critics.

“Woody was not only Bush’s finance chair, he was the northeastern finance chair for Mitt Romney,” said former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean. “So this is an indication to me that people are continuing to come on board.”

Vice chairs also include Mel Sembler, a former U.S. ambassador under Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush who raised money for both the Romney and Jeb Bush campaigns.

Another vice chair is Ronald Weiser, who also served as an ambassador under President George W. Bush and was the Michigan finance chairman for the 43rd president’s 2000 presidential campaign, as well as a national co-chair for Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 2008 White House bid.

The other vice chairs are Elliott Broidy, who heads a Los Angeles-based investment firm, and Diane Hendricks, a Wisconsin businesswoman.

“We still have a lot of hard work ahead of us to defeat Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, and I know this team is committed to raising the additional resources that will make the difference in producing victory this November,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

The RNC and the Trump campaign announced last week the formation of two joint fundraising agreements that will allow Mr. Trump’s campaign to raise money for the national party to use in down-ballot races this fall.

RNC Finance Chairman Lewis Eisenberg is the finance chairman for the “Trump Victory” committee. Steven Mnuchin, the Trump campaign’s finance chairman, will also play a significant role in the efforts.

An individual can donate up to $449,400 to Trump Victory, though money that would go directly to Mr. Trump’s campaign is still capped at $5,400 now, or $2,700 apiece for his primary and general election campaign funds.

Trump Victory is a joint fundraising committee between the Trump campaign, the RNC, and state Republican parties in Arkansas, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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