In an exclusive interview with The Detroit News, Dick DeVos revealed he and his family decided to back Marco Rubio’s candidacy to become the Republican Party’s 2016 nominee for president. They made this decision when Jeb Bush withdrew from the contest after his fourth-place finish in the South Carolina primary.
DeVos said he hopes the public endorsement will provide momentum to Rubio’s campaign. He had yet to win any state primaries, but won Minnesota on Super Tuesday. DeVos said it was Rubio’s job to build on that momentum, and he would. The DeVos endorsement means an inflow of money to Rubio’s campaign and to the super PAC supporting his nomination.
The DeVos family are major donors to the Republican Party of Michigan. Dick’s generous donations were even alluded to in a popular Netflix series which Dick comments on in an MLive exclusive. In 2006 Dick DeVos ran an unsuccessful campaign to be Michigan’s governor and his wife Betsy is a former chair of the Michigan Republican Party.
Until that interview, the family was officially neutral on the primary candidates. Dick DeVos’s father, Amway co-founder Richard M. DeVos Sr. donated to both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. He wife donated to Bush, Rubio and Kasich.
The support of DeVos will be important on Tuesday March 8 when Michigan holds its presidential primary. He said everyone discussed it, and made the decision they hoped would bring about the best outcome for America. He refused to say what would happen if Donald Trump wins the nomination.
DeVos said he and Betsy met Rubio in 2006 when he was Speaker of the House of the Florida legislature, and the DeVoses were lobbying for Florida to change the law to expand freedom of educational choice in the state. The law passed, and, thanks to it, education for the children in Florida has improved. DeVos gives credit for that to both Jeb Bush, who was Florida’s governor then, and Rubio. Greg McNeilly, Chief Operating Officer of the Windquest Group, confirmed the DeVos endorsement.
DeVos began with his father’s Amway business while still a child, helping to ship packages of product out of the family basement. After graduating from college, he began working his way up until he eventually replaced his father as President of the large direct sales company (Read more about his time with the company here: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/09/amway_heir_dick_and_betsy_devo.html). He has since left, and heads his own business holding company, the Windquest Group.
DeVos is the author of Rediscovering American Values: The Foundations of our Freedom for the 21st Century and co-author with Charles Paul Conn of Believe! He enjoys flying and sailing.