The super PAC supporting Chris Christie’s presidential campaign raised $5.9 million since the former New Jersey governor launched his bid in June, according to its first filing with the Federal Election Commission.
Donations to the independent group, Tell It Like It Is, poured in from some of the most well-known and wealthiest names in the New York region and beyond — such as Jared Kushner’s uncle, Murray Kushner, entertainment mogul Barry Diller, Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and real estate developer Harlan Crow, whose giving to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has come under fire in recent weeks.
The reporting period covers May 30 through June 30, with nearly all of donations to the Christie-aligned super PAC coming after he announced his campaign June 6.
“In just three short weeks, we’re proud of the nearly $6 million dollars raised for Tell It Like It Is,” the group’s chair, Bill Palatucci, said in a statement. “This is just a starting point, and we’re confident our donor base will grow as the Governor’s message of moving the Republican Party forward continues to take hold.”
Christie is considered a long shot to win the nomination of a party firmly in the grip of Donald Trump despite multiple indictments hanging over the former president. Although Christie has qualified for the first Republican debate, on Aug. 23, his polling average is 2.4 percent, according to RealClearPolitics, light years behind Trump’s 54 percent.
But Christie has the backing of some prominent anti-Trump donors and those who come from the party’s mainstream, such as the son of former presidential candidate Ross Perot and Trump’s gone-in-a-flash communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
The super PAC’s biggest donation was $1 million, from SHBT, a limited liability company based in Denton, Texas, according to the FEC.
Tell It Like It Is received three $500,000 donations, according to the commission. They came from Richard Saker, CEO of the New Jersey-based supermarket chain ShopRite; Walter Buckley Jr., a retired investor; and Defending Democracy Together, an advocacy group led by well-known Republican Trump critics Bill Kristol and Tim Miller.
The super PAC also received seven donations of $250,000, including from Tepper, and 11 donations of $100,000, including from Crow, Scaramucci and Scaramucci’s investment firm, Skybridge Capital. Other six-figure donations came from hedge fund managers Cliff Asness, Stanley Druckenmiller and Bruce Kovner.
Murray Kushner and his New Jersey-based company, KRE Property Management, each donated $10,000, according to the FEC. He is the brother of Jared’s father, Charles, and has also donated to Christie’s presidential campaign for 2016 and 2024.
Tell It Like It Is spent nearly $428,000 during the reporting period, leaving it with about $5.45 million on hand. Much of that spending was on media ads and emails and text messaging services.
The Christie campaign said it is “well ahead” of its fundraising pace in the former governor’s 2016 bid, raising more than $1.6 million in its first 25 days. It ended the quarter with $1.6 million in cash and no debt, “reflecting a lean, modern, and responsible operation,” the campaign said.
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