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Billionaires fete Nikki Haley in fundraiser as she trails Donald Trump by more than 30 percentage points in her home state of South Carolina

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Real estate developer Harlan Crow, oil and gas producer Ray Lee Hunt, and billionaire Trevor Rees-Jones are among the dozens of donors who are slated to host a fundraiser for Nikki Haley’s presidential bid this week.

The fundraiser, scheduled for Thursday in Dallas, is being organized by her allied super political action committee, SFA Fund Inc., according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg News. Haley is also planning to hold a rally in the city on Thursday evening.

Haley is continuing to aggressively raise money from deep-pocketed donors for her long-shot bid to be the Republican presidential nominee, despite trailing former President Donald Trump by more than 30 percentage points in her home state of South Carolina, which holds its primary on Feb. 24. 

Other co-hosts for Thursday’s event include real estate developer Ross Perot Jr.; Saltoro Capital LP’s chief investment officer Vishal Bhutani; tech entrepreneur Mark Haidar; banker James Huffines; Fortress Investment Group’s Drew McKnight; HN Capital Partners LLC’s Vipin Nambiar; political operative Karl Rove’s wife, lobbyist Karen Johnson Rove; and Robert Dedman Jr., whose father founded ClubCorp, the largest owner and operator of private golf and country clubs in the US. 

Crow, who has been under scrutiny for his ties to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is a major Republican donor, who has sprinkled money to several presidential candidates this cycle, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, progressive activist Cornel West, who is running as an independent, as well as No Labels, a group contemplating supporting a centrist ticket.

Haley’s ongoing financial support from Wall Street and business donors after losing to Trump in both Iowa and New Hampshire has allowed her to continue her campaign, even though Trump is on track to become the Republican nominee. She has pledged to stay in the race until Super Tuesday on March 5, when more than a dozen states, including Texas, hold nominating contests.

She has held fundraisers in New York, Miami, and the San Fransisco Bay-area in recent weeks, with major donors continuing to back her including venture capitalist Tim Draper, investor Stanley Druckenmiller, and KKR & Co. co-Chairman Henry Kravis.

Trump has threatened to cut off donors who give to Haley as he seeks to raise pressure on her to drop out of the race. Trump in a post on his social media site Truth Social last month said that anyone who continued to contribute to Haley would be “permanently barred from the MAGA camp.”

Tickets for the Dallas event start at $3,300 for an individual and increase to $16,600 for the top level.

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