Jeb Bush and his allies announced on Thursday that they had amassed more than $114 million in campaign cash over the last six months, dwarfing the combined fund-raising of his Republican rivals for the party’s presidential nomination. The announcements, made as many of his donors were gathering at his family’s compound here to celebrate their success, established Mr. Bush as his party’s financial powerhouse. They also underscored how the Supreme Court’s five-year-old Citizens United decision continues to remake the way presidential campaigns are waged. Almost all of the money was raised before Mr. Bush formally declared his candidacy last month, collected by a “super PAC” that Mr. Bush’s aides helped set up.
Mr. Bush, a former Florida governor, personally raised money for the super PAC — often in increments of $1 million per donor — at dozens of events during the winter and spring, operating under the assumption that he was free to do so because he was not yet a declared presidential candidate. Super PACs can raise unlimited donations from corporations and individuals alike, though candidates are not allowed to coordinate with them.
Mr. Bush’s campaign itself raised about $11.4 million, with individual contributions capped by law at $2,700.
While Mr. Bush has dominated in donations among the ranks of traditional Republican fund-raisers and bundlers, the central role being assumed by super PACs has upended financial assumptions that have long dictated the strategy and duration of the campaign for the party’s nomination.