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Rubio Picks Up Another Big GOP Donor

Sen. Marco Rubio has picked up another big GOP donor — energy executive Larry Nichols.
Image: Marco Rubio
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks during a campaign stop at Weiler Manufacturing, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, in Knoxville, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)Charlie Neibergall / AP

Sen. Marco Rubio has picked up another big GOP donor — energy executive Larry Nichols.

Nichols, who heads Devon Energy in Oklahoma, confirmed to NBC News his support for Rubio, which was first reported by The Hill. Nichols said in a phone call he had been “observing all of the candidates and finally decided that Rubio was the best one to sort of move forward and unite the party.”

“I like his vision for America. I think he’s the best candidate to bring the party together,” he said.

Nichols said he had been won over by Rubio’s “reasoned judgment on lots of different policy matters,” and made his decision within the last week.

Nichols has long contributed to Republican candidates and causes, donating more than $350,000 in the 2014 cycle alone. And he’s another case of Scott Walker overlap for Rubio — Nichols contributed $5,000 to Walker’s recall campaign, and another $50,000 to a pro-Walker group that spent millions to boost him in that effort. Walker ended his presidential campaign last summer.

Nichols said he has maxed out to Rubio’s campaign, and asked whether he’d contribute to his super PAC, he said “I will certainly look at other ways to support him.” One of those ways, he said, would be reaching out to his friends and associates to encourage them to contribute to the Florida senator.

Nichols is the latest in a series of major GOP donors to back Rubio, beginning in earnest with hedge fund manager Paul Singer in October and continuing most recently with hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who announced his full support for Rubio earlier this month.