by Javier Manjarres
Nick Loeb, the local banking scion and boyfriend of of Modern Family TV star Sofia Vergara, is once again considering jumping into the Florida Republican US Senate Primary ( Roll Call ). But now a second multi-millionaire who could potentially self-fund a Senate bid is also seriously considering the race. Conservative Publisher Christopher J. Ruddy, the owner of Newsmax is considering a run and could reportedly put as much as $25 million into a Senate bid.
Ruddy and top Rick Scott Campaign strategist and pollster Tony Fabrizio (Miami Herald, Marc Caputo) were reported to be searching for a candidate that has the resources to dominate the primary and defeat bill Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. Ruddy agreed to consider the race after Fabrizio made the case why an outsider with potential Tea Party backing can win the nomination and the general election. Ruddy had been a strong supporter of Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos who dropped out of the race last week. Ruddy and Fabrizio met face to face for dinner at Macaluso’s, a hotSouthBeachrestaurant last Friday.
In a phone conversation with Fabrizio, he emphatically stated that they(LeMieux, McCalister and Hasner) “were far from locking this thing up”, referring to the primary race. Fabrizio reiterated what was already reported that Ruddy could very well employ a Rick Scott-style campaign.
“Ruddy is Conservative, not only is he Conservative, he has the financial where-with-all. He has millions on the NewsMax mailing list, how many of those are inFlorida? When you put the package together, it is a significant package.” – Tony Fabrizio
This interesting analysis by Fabrizio highlights the fact in a Republican Senate primary race, 600k votes could be all that is needed to win. Ruddy would instantly have a substantial money advantage over his competitors that could instantly make him a strong contender.
NEWSMAX is a true internet news success story. Last year NEWSMAX made $57M this year they are on track to bring in $78M. According to sources friendly to the Shark Tank, Fabrizio told Ruddy it would take $25 million to win the primary and beat Nelson, and Ruddy confirmed he would be willing to fund such an effort. Ruddy was a protege of the late William J. Casey, who served as head of the SEC under President Richard Nixon and as CIA Director under President Ronald Reagan.
Hailing from Long Island, Ruddy is viewed as a more traditional economic and foreign policy conservative than a crusader for social issues. Ruddy is now based in West Palm Beachhas has become an influential and major donor in conservative and Republican circles. Ruddy was a significant fundraiser for former Attorney General Bill McCollum and then proceeded to give large contributions to the Republican Party of Florida in support of Rick Scott. Ruddy championed Scott’s election to his many Florida NEWSMAX readers and has emerged as a strong Rick Scott backer.
Ruddy is a graduate of St. John’s University and worked as a reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune, as well as Fox.
COMING SOON: Shark Tank sits down with Colombian Actress and Modern Family star Sofia Vergara