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Murray Energy CEO throws financial weight behind Ted Cruz with fundraiser

's CEO andfounder Robert Murray will put his financial weight behind Republicanpresidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas next week, continuing thesupport of the senator that began last year.

WhileMurray Energy has stated that the fundraiser is a personal event and hasnothing to do with the company, the effort is a continuation of financialsupport for the Texas lawmaker that began in 2015 through a corporate politicalaction committee. Last year, Murray PAC provided a total of $10,000 for theCruz campaign, as well as $5,000 for former Texas Gov. Rick Perry'spresidential run through a PAC working in support of his campaign.

Accordingto Federal Election Commission data, Robert Murray has had no listedindependent political contributions during the 2016 election cycle.

WhileMurray has offered no support for any of the remaining Republican presidentialcandidates, he has stated that the fundraiser does not equate an endorsement.

"Thatdoes not mean that he's my candidate," Murray said, according to aPolitico report. Cruz "has been the strongest on our problems andtherefore I am going to help keep him in the running with Donald Trump becausehe needs the money. I feel that we need to keep this a competitive race for awhile longer."

Murray'ssupport for Cruz reflects a consistent history of supporting Republicancandidates. Murray Energy's PAC has given exclusively to Republican candidatessince its inception, which echoes an industry-widepush for a GOP presidential victory in November. Should that occur, many arguethat the industry may be able to push back on Obama administration policiesoften cited as detrimental to U.S. coal producers.

Sofar, the coal industry's biggest donors have faced during the presidentialelection, with both ForesightEnergy LP's Chris Cline and Alliance Resource Partners LP President, CEO and DirectorJoe Craft and his fiancée, Kelly Knight, putting their financial weight behindFlorida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio earlier this year. Cline also offered $1million in support for former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush. Both Rubio andBush have since left the race.