Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The managing partner of a New York City-based hedge fund is the first — and so far only — contributor to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s new political action committee, giving $50,000.
Daniel Lewis, managing partner of Orange Capital, also supported Huntsman's 2012 bid for the White House. Lewis declined to comment about his gift to the Red Rock PAC, formed in late May in Utah.
Having a leadership PAC allows Huntsman to raise money he can use to build support for a potential second presidential run in 2016 by meeting with fellow Republicans around the country and making donations to candidates.
Huntsman told the New York Times when the PAC was formed that he is "ready and willing and prepared to serve. But the ideas will drive that or not. If you find out early people just really don't like your ideas, why waste your time?"
He dropped out of the 2012 presidential race after a disappointing third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary. Huntsman has been at odds with many in his party over his stands on the need to address climate change and support for gay marriage.
The former U.S. ambassador to China under President Barack Obama is part of the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank; and No Labels, a group that promotes nonpartisanship.
According to the Federal Elections Commission, Lewis gave Huntsman's last presidential campaign $2,500 and donated $1,000 to a Democrat, Jim Graves, who narrowly lost to Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Republican.
Lewis, who is also involved with No Labels, gave the $50,000 to Huntsman's new PAC on June 11, according to a financial disclosure filed with the state elections office. State law requires contributions to be reported within 30 days of receipt.
Utah does not limit the size of campaign contributions.
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