Marco Rubio has added the S.C. director for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and named several supporters of the Republican Florida senator’s mentor to lead his state finance team.
Buzz Jacobs, who runs a Florida-headquartered political consulting firm, has joined the Rubio campaign as a senior adviser based in South Carolina.
Jacobs, who was member of President George W. Bush’s Homeland Security Council staff, directed McCain’s 2008 win in the S.C. primary and became the Republican Arizona senator’s Southeast regional campaign manager in the general election. He worked with political-action committees during the 2012 presidential cycle.
Katie Baham Gainey, who worked at the S.C. campaign consulting firm whose founders are leading the Rubio campaign and pro-Rubio political-action committee, is the senator’s state director.
Rubio named nine S.C. finance co-chairs, including four who were active on campaigns for former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-Greenville. DeMint, who now heads the Heritage Foundation conservative think tank, endorsed Rubio in his 2010 Senate run.
The DeMint supporters on Rubio’s team include Kiawah Island real estate developer Bill Baker, Columbia corporate executive Peter Brown, Greenville real estate developer Phil Hughes and Hilton Head Island real estate developer Leslie Richardson.
Other co-chairs were active on finance teams for Gov. Nikki Haley — Orangeburg chief executive Mikee Johnson — and Lindsey Graham’s senate campaign — Allendale chief executive Hank Scott.
Rubio picked up an endorsement last week from U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, a Spartanburg Republican who heads the special House panel looking into the 2012 Benghazi attack.
Rubio has been third in recent South Carolina GOP presidential polls behind New York billionaire Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.