A galaxy of Republican Party stars is expected to be on hand for a lavish fundraiser in the Washington, D.C., area this month for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s re-election campaign.
The list of “honored guests” for the May 21 event in the Chevy Chase, Md., home of a lobbyist includes several potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates, including U.S. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is vice chairman the Republican Governors Committee.
Other listed guests include Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and GOP Congressional leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and several other senators, including Rob Portman of Ohio, John McCain of Arizona and Orrin Hatch of Utah.
The reception will be held at the home of Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association, which represents the soft drink industry. The host committee includes Fred Malek, who worked in the administrations of presidents Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush and has held top positions in various GOP presidential campaigns. He currently is involved in the Republican Governors Association.
Also on the host committee is former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. The former Pennsylvania governor earlier this year said Martinez should consider running for president after winning a second term as governor of New Mexico. Martinez repeatedly has said she is not interested in being on the national Republican ticket.
The minimum contribution to attend the event is $500.
The invitation to the event first was posted online Monday by Mother Jones magazine, a progressive publication that last month published a scathing profile of Martinez.
The event is similar to a June 2013 gala in Washington, D.C., that included many of the same guests and raised $220,000 for the Martinez re-election campaign, according to The Hill, a Washington publication that covers Congress. While her campaign paid for Martinez’s travel expenses, New Mexico taxpayers paid $6,460 for transportation, lodging and food for her state police security detail, according to state records, plus $948 for transportation for members of the governor’s staff.
Besides his involvement in the Chevy Chase reception, Rubio on Monday lent his name to the Martinez fundraising effort in an email sent to potential donors. After praising Martinez for “diversifying New Mexico’s economy, removing job-killing regulations to make businesses more competitive [and] cutting taxes,” Rubio said, “Susana is facing a fundraising deadline and your contribution will help her catch up to her opponents, who have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money into their campaigns.”
But according to the latest round of New Mexico campaign finance reports last month, it’s not Martinez who needs to “catch up.” Those reports showed that Martinez reported $4.2 million in the bank last last month, nearly 10 times the amount of her closest Democratic opponent, Alan Webber.
The text has been amended to reflect the following correction:
Correction: May 6, 2014
A previous version misstated Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s position with the Republican Governor’s Association. Jindal is vice chairman of the group.