MIAMI — In a major sign of his White House ambitions, Sen. Marco Rubio kicked off an election strategy meeting Friday at the Delano Hotel in Miami Beach by announcing a fundraising team that looked like a presidential campaign-in-waiting.

“Prepare for a presidential campaign,” Rubio recently told aides in the run-up to the weekend.

That doesn’t mean Rubio is definitely running for the White House, but it’s the strongest indication yet.

The “Team Marco 2016” South Beach summit, followed by a grueling weeklong California fundraising marathon, serves a dual purpose: pour money into Rubio’s U.S. Senate re-election campaign and decide whether to instead roll over that cash into a presidential campaign in the future. The two-day South Beach event is expected to draw as many as 300 supporters.

The fundraisers for “Team Marco 2016” do not look like typical financiers for a Florida Senate campaign because they all come from other states and have ties to the four prior campaigns of the Republican Party’s presidential nominees. The new finance director for Rubio’s Reclaim America political action committee, Anna Rogers, held the same position for the American Crossroads Super PAC founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove. It spent about $200 million over the last two elections supporting Republicans.

Rubio’s friends and advisers say he hasn’t made up his mind yet, but they say he’s more seriously exploring the possibility of a White House run.

“I haven’t asked him if he’s running, but he’s certainly building an impressive team of national players,” said Nelson Diaz, chairman of the Miami-Dade Republican Party.

“I’ve known Sen. Rubio for 20 years,” Diaz said. “He doesn’t make impulsive decisions but really takes his time to think things through and running for president is a big and personal decision.”

One Rubio aide said the senator recently dropped a big hint by telling them to get ready as if he’s running for president.

Also, Rubio recently announced that his wife, Jeanette, is OK with a presidential bid – an important step for Rubio, who has privately expressed regrets about the stress that the two-year campaign would put on her and his four young children.