Connecticut Republicans have lined up a big name to headline their annual Prescott Bush fundraising dinner: Jeb Bush, the grandson of the man for whom the dinner is named.
Jerry Labriola Jr., chairman of the Connecticut Republican party, called Jeb Bush a potential “tier one presidential candidate in 2016.”
Jeb Bush and Jerry Labriola Jr.
Bush, the former governor of Florida, has received encouragement from some key Republicans in Washington (though his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, threw cold water on her son’s ambitions by saying she does not want another Bush in the White House.)
But with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another potential 2016 candidate, badly hobbled by scandal, some Republicans are eager to see Bush run.
“Gov. Bush appeals to a broad spectrum of the electorate,” Labriola said, citing Bush’s stance on immigration and his education reform agenda. “If Jeb Bush is our nominee, he’ll be more than a match for Hillary Clinton.”
The Prescott Bush dinner, which will be held on April 10 in Stamford, is the state GOP’s major fundraising event. Two years ago, the party brought in Ann Romney; last year’s speaker was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
This year, the party had considered Christie, but ultimately selected Bush.
“As the son and brother of presidents and a former governor of Florida, he offers a unique perspective on current affairs,” Labriola said.
Both Bush and Christie have broad appeal beyond the Republican party’s base, Labriola said. “These are two candidates who can change the electoral map,” he said.