Bill Koch, a billionaire Palm Beach philanthropist, will host a fundraiser next month for Sen. Marco Rubio’s Republican presidential Campaign at Koch’s South Ocean Boulevard home — less than half an mile from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. Koch is the president of Oxbow Corporation. He founded the Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, and was the 1992 America’s Cup champion. He is not as well-known in political circles as his brothers Charles Koch and David Koch who are deep-pocketed supporters of libertarian and conservative causes.
Bill Koch has donated to a number of Republican candidates and committees over the years, including $2,700 to Rubio’s campaign in October, according to federal election records. The fundraiser is set for Jan. 28, with tickets starting at $2,700 per person and rising to $27,000 for a “co-chair” package that includes a “private reception” with Rubio, according to an invitation. It’s not uncommon for presidential hopefuls to hold fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club, but it is unusual for one of the GOP front runner’s neighbors to host an event for one of his rivals. Koch’s office did not respond to a request for comment about the fundraiser. Trump, who has been leading in most national polls of Republican voters, has said he will self-fund his campaign and has eschewed traditional fundraising methods. In October, Trump reported having $3.8 million in cash on hand, while Rubio reported $6 million and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz reported $13.6 million.
Koch’s fundraiser for Rubio comes amid a series of high-profile gatherings of wealthy Republicans who have been trying to stop Trump from becoming the party’s nominee. Last weekend, about 100 conservative donors met at a resort in Sea Island, Ga., to discuss ways to defeat Trump. Among those in attendance were hedge fund manager Paul Singer, who has endorsed Rubio, and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has been critical of Trump.
It’s unclear whether Koch himself has taken a position on any of the candidates. In an interview with The Palm Beach Post last year, Koch said he was friends with both Trump and Rubio and had donated to “a lot of them.”
“I like them all,” Koch said of the GOP field. “I think they’re a good bunch of guys, really. I don’t see any real bad apples in the bunch.