Major Ted Cruz donor is taking back $9 million

A Timeline of GOP Candidates Dropping out of the Race
A Timeline of GOP Candidates Dropping out of the Race

Toby Neugebauer, a wealthy Texas energy investor, was once one of

Ted Cruz's largest backers. The son of retiring Rep. Randy Neugebauer ran Keep the Promise II, a pro-Cruz super PAC, and donated $10 million to the cause.

But now that Cruz has left the race, he's taking $9 million of that donation back -- and he's going to use it to support the man who forced Cruz out.

Neugebauer told USA TODAY, "Today, I am a

Trump supporter. I am excited about the voters he turned up."

See more of Ted Cruz's former 2016 campaign:

The initial news of the donation last year garnered considerable buzz for the Cruz campaign -- so what happened?

Neugebauer appeared reluctant to actually spend the cash, telling CNN he wanted "to invest his money in winner-take-all states deeper into the calendar."

He also began openly fighting with strategists at other top pro-Cruz super PACs about their game plan -- particularly a perceived reliance on negative ads.

SEE ALSO: Trump on Cruz as vice president: 'It's something we can think about'

According to the Los Angeles Times, "He complained that the political consultants remain addicted to buying negative television ads, a strategy that has proven particularly ineffective against the star power of front-runner

Donald Trump."

Now that Trump is the presumptive nominee, it appears several large GOP backers will give him a second look. The Hill spoke with Rockwell Schnabel, an influential Republican donor from California, who said "he is deeply skeptical of Trump — but he feels even worse about Hillary Clinton."

Trump, who has so far largely self-funded his campaign, said Wednesday he will now take outside donations. He told NBC he hopes to raise 'over a billion dollars' for the general election.

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Originally published