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Likely 2016 contender Jeb Bush resigns from corporate boards

A spokeswoman said Jeb Bush's resignations from corporate boards are a "natural next step" in his consideration of a 2016 presidential run.

By
Frances Burns
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush,hown here at the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa, announced he is resigning from all corporate boards. A spokeswoman said he wants to focus on a possible presidential run. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush,hown here at the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa, announced he is resigning from all corporate boards. A spokeswoman said he wants to focus on a possible presidential run. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ended 2014 by resigning from all corporate boards, another move suggesting he is serious about a presidential run.

Bush also resigned as an adviser to Academic Partnerships, a for-profit company that provides online university courses, an aide told the Washington Post. He received $60,000 a year from the company.

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Earlier this month, Bush quit as an adviser to the British bank Barclay's and stopped booking paid speaking engagements.

In an email to the Post late Wednesday, the aide said Bush's resignations were effective immediately. Bush is still involved with the consulting firm Jeb Bush & Associates and Britton Hill Partnership, a business advisory group, but the aide said he is reviewing his status.

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Kristy Campbell, a spokeswoman, said the resignations are "part and parcel of a process he is going through as he transitions to focus on a potential run for president."

"This is a natural next step that will allow him to focus his time on gauging interest for a potential run," she added.

A recent CNN/ORC poll put Bush at the head of the crowded Republican field with 23 percent of party members selecting him. That was 10 percentage points ahead of the runner-up, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the first time a candidate has had a lead larger than the poll's margin of error.

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If Bush becomes president, his family would be the first to have three members in the White House, putting them ahead of the Adamses (father and son), the Harrisons (grandfather and grandson) and the Roosevelts (distant cousins). But Jeb Bush could face attacks from the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

Bush, whose father lost a second term at least partly because he backed a federal tax increase, has not signed anti-tax activist Grover Norquist's pledge.

"Jeb Bush won't put it in writing, and he won't say it," Norquist told Fox News. "I think at some point you need to ask Jeb Bush what taxes do you plan to raise."

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Mark Levin, a radio host, called Bush "an old-time liberal Republican."

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