More than 150 people with ties to Michigan—including the state’s Republican congressional delegation—gathered tonight at the Capitol Hill Club for one of the most successful fundraising events of its kind to take place in Washington, D.C.
Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez joined Senators Sam Brownback (R.-Kan.) and David Vitter (R.-La.) for the fundraiser, which will benefit Michigan’s GOP candidates running for federal office.
While the fundraising grand total wasn’t available when I left tonight’s event, organizers said they had collected more than $100,000. According to Michigan Republican Chairman Saul Anuzis, that far surpasses what the New York Republican Party collected in a similar Washington event. Most state parties don’t hold events in Washington, Anuzis explained, but the Michigan GOP decided its network of alumni and friends—the “Michigan Mafia”—offered a unique opportunity to raise money.
Anuzis organized the fundraiser with the help of former Energy Secretary Spence Abraham and his wife Jane, who is co-chairman of the state party. Michigan Senate hopeful Mike Bouchard, sheriff of Oakland County, made an appearance as well.
Commerce Secretary Gutierrez and Michigan GOP Chairman Anuzis
UPDATE — 9:37 a.m.: In his daily update, Anuzis offers more additional details about last night’s event. Here’s the rundown:
Last night we held what we hope was the first annual Michigan Alumni fundraiser in Washington DC. GOP co-chair Jane Abraham and John VanFossen put together a fundraiser honoring our Republican Congressional delegation. Senator Sam Brownback (KS) and Senator David Vitter (LA) joined us during the evening and our special guest was Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez who made a short statement and mingled with the crowd.
Other Michigan friends included state finance chair Ambassador Ron Weiser, former Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, former Congressman Bob Davis and representatives from various Michigan based companies as well as Michigan alumni who worked for other associations and PACs.
We also received contributions from Mayor Giuliani, Senator George Allen (VA) and Governor Mitt Romney (MA) for this event.
Michigan Republicans raised over $100,000 for our federal account and renewed a lot of old aquintances who committed to help us do this again next year. Thanks again to all who helped on this event.