Romney Ally Spencer Zwick to Join Republican Opposition-Research Firm

The move indicates he will remain neutral as more than a dozen Republican candidates battle it out in the 2016 nomination fight.

Zwick: Rubio Has Potential to Catch Lightning in a Bottle

Spencer Zwick, an influential Republican who ran Mitt Romney's presidential campaign finance operations in 2008 and 2012, will chair the opposition-research firm America Rising PAC, the group said Wednesday.

Because the two-year-old firm isn't allied with any campaign, the move indicates Zwick will remain neutral as more than a dozen Republican candidates battle it out in the 2016 nomination fight.

“A strong America Rising is absolutely vital to defeating Hillary Clinton in November 2016, and I am very excited to be joining its already talented team,” Zwick said in a statement released by the firm. “Republicans are blessed to have an incredibly talented pool of presidential contenders, and while our side is going through the primary process, I am going to work hard to ensure that America Rising PAC has the resources to hold Secretary Clinton accountable.”

Zwick is “honored to be joining the team,” he added in an e-mail to Bloomberg. He will be a volunteer at America Rising and will continue as a managing partner at Solamere Capital, which he co-founded, according to the group's statement. (Romney, who has not endorsed a 2016 candidate, is the chairman of the private-equity firm.) Politico first reported the move.

America Rising combines traditional opposition research with video tracking of candidates and e-mail blasts about its findings. In the 2014 midterms, the group watched 154 candidates in 36 states, according to spokesman Jeff Bechdel. “But America Rising was built with a presidential cycle in mind, and we plan to expand on our 2014 efforts this cycle,” Bechdel said in an e-mail.

In an interview on Bloomberg Politics' With All Due Respect in February, Zwick predicted that Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, would raise at least $1.7 billion. He spoke highly of several Republican presidential contenders in the interview, particularly Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

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