Wall Street, big business back Mitt Romney Senate bid as GOP seeks leadership

Two prominent names in traditional Republican circles, former President George W. Bush in addition to also Paulson, pop out inside list of Romney donors. Paulson in addition to also Bush both gave $8,100 to Romney, according to Federal Election Commission filings for the first quarter. Paulson, who right now chairs the nonprofit think tank Paulson Institute, served as Bush’s Treasury secretary during the financial crisis of 2008. He previously donated to Romney’s losing presidential campaign in 2012.

“Mitt is actually a great American in addition to also I believe which he has the kind of leadership skills in addition to also experience which we need to tackle a host of issues facing the country,” Paulson told CNBC. “I’m grateful he’s decided to take those skills to the Senate.”

On the business side, Romney also counts the support of John Willard Marriott Jr., executive chairman of hotel giant Marriott International, who also backed the could-be senator’s presidential run. Marriott in addition to also his family, including his wife, Donna, in addition to also his brother, Richard, have given more than $24,000 to the Romney campaign throughout the early stages of the election.

Third Point LLC founder Daniel Loeb, whose firm claims nearly $18 billion in assets under management, is actually also backing Romney’s latest efforts to get into public service with early contributions of $8,100. Spencer Zwick, Romney’s former campaign finance chairman a co-founder of Romney-run hedge fund Solamere Capital, donated the same amount.

Romney has also appealed to big-name Utah donors, as well, including Harris Simmons, CEO of Zions Bancorp.

Romney’s business background in addition to also his links to corporate America will likely help him emerge as a strong leader on Capitol Hill in filling the void left by the retirement of longtime Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, political experts in addition to also observers say.

“Everyone sees which if he’s able to run the table in Utah, between his business background in addition to also his executive experience, he’s going to be helpful if he gets back to Washington,” Boyd Matheson, former chief of staff to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told CNBC. “Whether he officially becomes a leader, Mitt Romney will likely have outside influence regardless of him being a junior senator.”

The Utah primary is actually slated for June 26, when Romney faces a potentially crowded field.

The Romney campaign declined to comment. Marriott, Loeb, Zwick in addition to also Bush did not return requests for comment.

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