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Republicans Campaign for Clinton

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NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Groups of wealthy Republicans unhappy with Donald Trump have been privately courting prominent peers to join them in backing Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, several people involved in the effort said yesterday.
They say they are seeking money and endorsements from other Republicans disillusioned by Mr. Trump, their party’s candidate for the November 8 presidential election. Some have received encouragement from Mrs. Clinton and members of her campaign staff.
“I made the decision that I wouldn’t be able to look at my grandkids if I voted for Trump,” said Dan Webb, a former federal prosecutor and a self-described “Republican for decades” working to win over prominent Republican business people in Chicago.
Mr. Trump has made traditional Republican donors uneasy with inflammatory statements about women, Mexicans, Muslims and war veterans, among others.
Big-name Wall Street donors can make a difference for Mrs. Clinton. They could inject big money into a campaign. They might influence moderate Republicans to switch sides. Their support of Mrs. Clinton challenges Mr. Trump’s assertion that his business successes make him a better candidate for president.
With the political conventions barely over, the Republican effort to fundraise for Mrs. Clinton is at an early stage. Some of the groups have yet to receive contributions because they must still file paperwork under campaign finance rules. Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson said business leaders are supporting Mrs. Clinton because of her economic plan and because Mr. Trump “cannot be trusted.”
Groups formed to support Mrs. Clinton include Republicans for Her 2016, run by Republican lobbyist Craig Snyder; a grassroots organization called R4C16, led by John Stubbs and Ricardo Reyes, officials in former President George W. Bush’s administration; and the Republican Women for Hillary group co-led by Jennifer Pierotti Lim, an official at the US Chamber of Commerce.
The first two groups are acting independently of Mrs. Clinton’s own effort. The third is acting in concert with her campaign.
“We wanted to go out there and be the voice for Republicans who were feeling wary about Trump and weird about publicly endorsing Hillary,” said Pierotti Lim, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention at the Clinton team’s invitation.
Mr. Webb, a partner at law firm Winston & Strawn, said he began his outreach after being approached by billionaire investor J.B. Pritzker and long-time Clinton associate Lanny Davis.
While some major donors are hesitant to back Mr. Trump, the candidate over the last month has pulled in millions of dollars in small-money donations to boost total contributions to more than $80 million for the Trump campaign and the Republican Party, nearly matching Mrs. Clinton’s $90 million haul during the same period.

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