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U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney arrives with his wife Ann (2nd L) and son Tag (L) to address supporters at his Michigan primary night rally in Novi, Michigan, February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Mitt Romney to raise money in Utah in June
Politics » Utah Dems: Potential $50K lunch shows he’s out of touch.
First Published May 04 2012 08:49 pm • Last Updated May 06 2012 12:22 am

Mitt Romney will be in Utah next month to raise money for his presidential campaign, his first visit to the state since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee.

"People were excited when Mitt Romney was running to be president and trying to get the nomination. Now that it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s going to be the nominee, Republicans in Utah are ecstatic," said Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright. "They recognize what he did in Utah [during the 2002 Winter Olympics] and the exact same thing needs to happen in the country and he’s got the skills and vision and experience to make it happen."

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Romney will be in the Beehive State on June 8 for at least two events — a dinner at Grand America for donors who give $2,500 to his campaign, and a VIP reception for those who give at least $10,000 to the Romney Victory Fund.

Another lunch may be added to the schedule for big-ticket contributors who give at least $50,000 to the Victory Fund.

Donors typically are limited to giving just $2,500 to a campaign per cycle, but presidential campaigns can create organizations like the Victory Fund to raise up to $78,500 for the campaign, various state Republican parties, and the candidate’s compliance account, which can be used to pay post-election legal fees or other expenses.

"I think it’s great to have Mitt Romney in town and the $50,000 lunch is just the kind of thing that will appeal to most Utah working families," said Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis. "Mitt Romney has the ability to reach out and touch normal Utahns who pay $50,000 for lunch or have a car elevator for their beach house. It’s not as though Mitt Romney is out of touch with normal Utahns."

The June fundraiser will be Romney’s first visit since mid-February to Utah, which during the 2008 campaign gave more to Romney than any other state except California.

Romney has raised less in the state this time, bringing in $3.3 million through the end of March, compared with the $5.5 million raised in 2008. However, Utahns have also donated generously to Super PACs backing Romney, and that money is more difficult to track.

Romney had raised a total of $86.6 million and had $10 million in the bank through the end of March; President Barack Obama had raised nearly $192 million and had more than $104 million in the bank, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

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Twitter: @RobertGehrke

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