The heiress to the Publix Super Market Inc. chain paid for the “lion’s share” of a half-million rally Jan. 6 for former President Donald Trump, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The rally in Washington’s Ellipse preceded the now infamous riot at the U.S. Capitol.
WSJ reported that Julie Jenkins Fancelli committed $300,000 through a former fundraising representative to former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign.
WSJ said documents show the Jan. 6 event was funded by a small group, which included far-right radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Organizers said it was Jones who facilitated Jenkins Fancelli’s contribution to the event.
Fancelli is the daughter of Publix founder George W. Jenkins, who died in 1996. He founded the food store in 1930 in Winter Haven, Fla. In 1972, she married Mauro Adolfo Dino Fancelli of Florence, Italy, where the couple lives.
The supermarket chain has 1,265 stores in the southeast with 817 of those stores in Florida.
Publix issued a statement on Twitter responding to the report.
“Mrs. Fancelli is not an employee of Publix Super Markets, and is neither involved in our business operations, nor does she represent the company in any way. We cannot comment on Mrs. Fancelli’s actions.
“The violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was a national tragedy. The deplorable actions that occurred that day do not represent the values, work or opinions of Publix Super Markets.”
A Lakeland Ledger report last August showed Publix had donated nearly $425,000 through its Political Action Committee to candidates and committees in the 2020 election cycle. About 58% of that money had gone to Republicans, including donations to senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, though neither Republican was up for re-election. The Ledger pointed out that, as of August, the company’s donations through the PAC were more balanced between parties than they had been in previous years.