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Pro-Jeb Bush super PAC might deploy ground staff to states

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

HOUSTON — Right to Rise USA, the super PAC supporting former Florida governor Jeb Bush's campaign for president, is considering deploying ground staff to key states after focusing most heavily on running television ads so far.

It's a notable strategic consideration that comes as Bush's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has struggled to gain traction in early-voting states and as it makes moves to curtail costs in what began as a sprawling operation.

"Yeah, we're looking at some of that," a Right to Rise official said of the possible deployment Sunday. "The campaign is front and center on that, but there are a lot of supporters around the country who might want to be organized to do some stuff."

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely, added: "There are limits to what a super PAC can do."

So far, Right to Rise, which smashed fundraising records by bringing in more than $100 million during the first six months of the year, has been focused heavily on airing TV ads in early-voting states. But amid Bush's spending issues, more and more organizational responsibility may fall to the super PAC, which can collect unlimited donations, unlike campaigns.

But laws that bar coordination between super PACs and campaigns could present challenges, if Right to Rise chooses to invest heavily in a ground game.

The official made the comments on the sidelines of a two-day summit here where donors are getting updates from the campaign and super PAC. Bush's brother and father, both former presidents, are expected to appear at some of the meetings.

Right to Rise previewed its next phase of advertising in a meeting with donors, showing them a handful of ads it plans to run in the near future. All of the ads are positive commercials about Bush.