Two former advisers to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) unveiled a super PAC on Thursday to back his expected presidential run, the latest example of a big-money group that has close ties to a 2016 contender.
Unintimidated PAC — a name borrowed from Walker’s 2013 book — will be run by Keith Gilkes, the strategist who played top roles in Walker's two gubernatorial campaigns and 2012 recall campaign. Gilkes’s deputy will be Stephan Thompson, who managed Walker’s 2014 campaign and was deputy manager of his 2010 bid.
“Should Governor Scott Walker choose to run for president, Unintimidated PAC will independently advocate for his candidacy and show America who Walker is: someone who is unintimidated by Washington’s government-knows-best mentality and has proven his big, bold ideas can win,” the PAC said in a statement.
There are now 14 super PACs supporting 2016 contenders that have been effectively sanctioned by the major would-be candidates and are being run by their allies. Of them, just four candidates have officially declared their bids. That’s because White House hopefuls who are not federal officeholders or candidates, such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush, have far more leeway to interact with their super PACs now than once they announce their bids. They're using that time to stockpile money into the groups.
Walker had already set up a political committee called Our American Revival that can accept unlimited donations, as a super PAC can. Many of the committee’s senior officials, including Executive Director Rick Wiley, are expected to move over to the campaign once it launches.