Metro

Jeb Bush to raise funds for Charlie Baker

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
M. Spencer Green/Associated Press/File
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, considered a potential top-tier candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, will headline a fund-raiser next month for Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker.

Bush, who has said he is considering a campaign, is the “special guest” for a July 2 event for Baker at the Ridge Club in Sandwich, according to a copy of the invitation viewed by the Globe. Barnstable District Attorney Michael O’Keefe and Sheriff James Cummings are co-hosting the event.

Massachusetts GOP strategists say Baker, like other state Republicans, has a narrow class of national members of their party upon which he can draw for fund-raisers. The former governor of Florida is one; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is another. Senator John McCain of Arizona and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani have also lent GOP candidates campaign support here.

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Other, more conservative GOPers could do more harm than good to Republicans in the liberal Bay State, by aligning them in the public eye with the party’s right wing.

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Asked about Bush’s visit, Baker spokesman Tim Buckley replied in an email, “Charlie is campaigning for the votes of Republicans, Democrats and independents alike, and welcomes the support of a successful and reform-minded [g]overnor.”

Bush governed Florida from 1999 until 2007. Considered a favorite of the party establishment, he is considered one of the potential candidates best-positioned to reach out to Hispanic voters, a major concern for the party entering the next presidential election cycle.

Bush did not respond to a message left with his office.

Tea Party candidate Mark Fisher is also seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination in the Sept. 9 primary.

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at Jim.OSullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.