Last week the Donald Trump presidential campaign released a list of its statewide co-chairs. Former GOP chairperson Sue Everhart received most of the focus by the media, which makes sense. Everhart was considered a true “grassroots” Republican leader who is expected to bring her massive rolodex of activists to the Trump effort in Georgia.
But one name, among the several revealed as leaders for Mr. Trump in Georgia, has implications that may well be more national in nature.
Listed among the co-chairs is the name Rayna Casey. Casey, a successful business woman, has been a scene on both the Georgia and national political stages for many years (she currently is the longest serving board member of the Georgia Lottery Corporation). But GOP insiders know her best as one of former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s closest confidants and the force behind his past fundraising efforts, both in Georgia and across the nation.
While Gingrich is precluded from endorsing candidates due to his new FOX News contract, many view her decision to be a part of the Trump team as a putative Gingrich endorsement. Casey has her own impressive rolodex which includes decades of high dollar or high power GOP donors and leaders.
While Trump states that he is not soliciting funds in his campaign, his organization is moving quickly to bring big name Republicans on board. Casey’s addition is being viewed by national political insiders as “a big catch” for Trump.
Ms. Casey had the corner office in Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign headquarters and because of her position as “extended close family” to Gingrich her name is likely to carry major clout in states such as the early voting South Carolina and the so-called SEC states who hold their primaries in early march. Gingrich carried many of those states in his 2012 bid but was knocked out with a big win by Mitt Romney in Florida. This year the “Gingrich states” from ’12 vote well ahead of Florida, making Ms. Casey’s presence potentially all the more crucial.