Trump inaugural: Palm Beach County’s Cline, Florida Crystals, NextEra, Geo gave big

The scene at the U.S. Capitol at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Coal-mining billionaire Christopher Cline of North Palm Beach is among three dozen or so contributors who gave at least $1 million to President Donald Trump‘s inaugural committee, according to a report filed this week.

Other big inaugural donors from Palm Beach County include West Palm Beach-based sugar giant Florida Crystals Corp. ($500,000), Juno Beach-headquartered NextEra Energy ($250,000) and private prison contractor Geo Corrections Holding of Boca Raton ($250,000).


Click here for the full story at, including the complete list of Palm Beach County contributors in the $10,000 Club.


Trump’s inaugural committee raised $106.8 million, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Contributors listing Florida addresses gave more than $6 million to the inaugural committee — but that figure is understated, said Tallahassee lobbyist Brian Ballard, who helped raise money for the committee.

“Whenever you look at Florida zip codes you’re underestimating people who live in New York and Chicago,” said Ballard. He estimates the inaugural committee’s haul from Florida could be in the $8 million to $10 million range.

Cline, for example, has a homestead exemption in unincorporated northern Palm Beach County, but is listed at a West Virginia address on the FEC report.

Among those with Florida addresses, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Kahn and Brandon businessman Ronnie J. Ory also gave $1 million apiece.

Nationally, at least 36 contributors gave $1 million or more to the inaugural committee, including Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who chipped in $5 million. Trump friend and frequent Mar-a-Lago guest Robert Kraft gave $1 million through his family’s Kraft Group LLC holding company.

Other Palm Beach County contributors listed in the FEC report include Gira Shah of Jupiter, Nicholas A. Mastroianni III of Palm Beach Gardens and James Zenni of Wellington at $100,000 a piece.

Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s