Donald Trump is tapping his friends and former peers in the New York real estate development community to help fund his presidential run.
Trump reportedly met with a who’s-who of the city’s top builders yesterday, part of an effort to ramp up his campaign fundraising as he pivots to the general election. Developers reportedly in attendance included the LeFrak Organization’s Richard LeFrak, the Vector Group and Douglas Elliman’s Howard Lorber, Vornado Realty Trust’s Steven Roth, Imperial Companies’ Michael Fascitelli, and Steve Witkoff, Bloomberg reported.
The presumptive Republican nominee largely relied on free media and his own personal spending to fund his primary campaign, but has recently shifted to a more traditional approach. He held his first fundraiser last week in California, and is planning events in New York, Texas and other cities over the next days and weeks.
The developers he courted Wednesday are prolific and largely non-partisan political donors. LeFrak, Lorber and Fascitelli have each given between $200,000 and $400,000 to candidates in federal elections, according to the Federal Election Commission, with at least a quarter in each case going to Democrats.
The Real Deal looked at 2016 political donations by New York real estate players in its September 2015 issue. At that time Trump had received just one such donation, $5,000 from Meridian Capital Group CEO Ralph Herzka. At that time, Jeb Bush, who suspended his campaign in February, was by far the largest recipient of NYC real estate cash, taking in over $1 million. [Bloomberg] – Ariel Stulberg