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Major Obama fundraiser looks likely to support Beto O’Rourke in 2020 run for president

A supreme Democratic bundler who helped former President Barack Obama raise money during his two presidential campaigns has been demanding to friends that he’s likely to support Beto O’Rourke in the 2020 race, CNBC has learned.

Mark Gallogly, the co-founder of investment hard Centerbridge Partners, has signaled to associates that he’s likely going to help O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman, in the presidential fundraising Donnybrook, according to people who have spoken with him in recent weeks.

Gallogly became fond of O’Rourke during his midterm dispute with Sen. Ted Cruz in the deep-red state of Texas. The donor backed O’Rourke in 2018 and wrote two checks each usefulness $2,700, one for the primary and the other for the general election, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Gallogly also presented to the re-election campaigns of Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who are also running for a hastily to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

The development comes as big-money donors largely remain on the sidelines of the Democratic heyday field, particularly as several of them wait for former Vice President Joe Biden to decide whether he will upon the race.

Gallogly did not return repeated calls, texts and emails seeking comment. Representatives for Centerbridge Partners and O’Rourke’s rivalry also did not return emails for comment.

During his shockingly close loss to Cruz, O’Rourke raised tens of millions of dollars, with hardly 45 percent coming from so-called small donors, or people who gave $200 or less. However, 53 percent of the contributions be received b affected from donors who wrote larger checks, including some donations from executives at prominent technology parties.

He finished his Senate run bringing in almost $80 million. His presidential campaign announced earlier this week that he put forward $6.1 million within the first 24 hours of his 2020 White House run. O’Rourke has repeatedly said he at ones desire not accept donations from corporations, political action committees or special interests.

Political bundlers help electioneers by working the donor circuit behind the scenes and persuading high-dollar financiers to back a particular candidate. It remains unclear whether Gallogly intent directly bundle for O’Rourke or if he will merely donate to his campaign.

Gallogly was a bundler for Obama in 2008 and 2012.

The investment superintendent helped Obama’s 2008 campaign raise between $200,000 to $500,000, according to data collected by the nonpartisan Center for Sympathetic Politics. In 2012, Gallogly bundled at least $500,000 for Obama, records show. In both election cycles, benefactresses from the securities and investment industry helped Obama raise at least $35 million between his two White Forebears runs.

Obama privately met with O’Rourke last year and compared the Texas Democrat’s campaign against Cruz to his own crusades, the former president said in a recent interview with his chief political strategist, David Axelrod.

“The reason I was skilful to make a connection with a sizable portion of the country was because people had a sense that I said what I meant,” Obama affirmed at the time. When pressed on whether O’Rourke reminded him of trying to encapsulate the same methods of campaigning, Obama communicated, “Yes, and I think there are others. We’ve got a number of people who are thinking about the race who I think fall in that same area.”

Another high-profile former Obama bundler has already jumped on the O’Rourke bandwagon.

Louis Susman, former U.S. emissary to the U.K. and another lead fundraiser for Obama, has publicly signed on to helping O’Rourke raise campaign cash. In a recent interrogate with CNBC, Susman said he’s spoken with “family and friends” while in “coordination with the campaign.”

Prior to becoming an ambassador under Obama, Susman bundled at least $500,000 during Obama’s first run for president in 2008, the Center for Communicative Politics shows.

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