MIAMI (AP) — Taking another step toward a presidential run, Jeb Bush is resigning from the board of timber company Rayonier Inc.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm said in a regulatory filing Monday that the former Florida governor would step down at the end of the year. Bush has been a director of Rayonier since 2008. The company, set up as a real estate investment trust, owns, leases or manages about 2.6 million acres of forests in the U.S. and New Zealand, according to its website.
Bush's move comes as he explores a presidential run and unwinds some of his business commitments. The potential Republican contender had already confirmed plans to step down from the board of Tenet Healthcare Corp. and leave his advisory role with British banking giant Barclays by Dec. 31.
Aides say Bush is reviewing all of his business and civic engagements as he considers a White House bid.
According to corporate filings, Bush sits on the boards of two other companies — Empower Software Solutions and CorMatrix Cardiovascular Inc. — and is chairman and manager of Britton Hill Holdings, a Florida-based private equity and business advisory group.
Opposition researchers in both parties have already begun sifting through his business connections seeking fodder for attack.
While some strategists have said Bush's private-equity work could open him to some of the same criticisms that dogged the GOP's last presidential nominee, business executive and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Bush himself has said his business record would be an asset in a campaign.
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