This post has been updated.
Several of Virginia’s Republican elite came out for a fundraiser for likely presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton Wednesday night.
Guests included Gov.Robert F. McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, former
U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (Va.), Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, and Ed Gillespie, McDonnell’s former general chairman who serves as a Romney adviser, according to a pool report and interviews.
Major Republican donors Bobbie Kilberg, chairwoman of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, and Fred and Marlene Malek also were there.
The entire event raised more than $2.3 million, according to one of the fundraisers who is familar with the numbers but was not authorized to speak to the media. That makes the event one of the largest in the nation for Romeny this election cycle.
The general reception raised at least $625,000 with about 250 guests attending, with each guest paying at least $2,500. A series of VIP policy discussions for those who raised at least $10,000, and a photo reception for those who gave or raised $10,000 raised considerably more.
McDonnell spoke at the fundraiser before Romney, boasting of Virginia’s status as a top-ranking pro-growth state and advocating “policies that would allow more people to live the dream Romney has lived,’’ according to a pool report.
He got a laugh when he mentioned that Obama opposes the state’s right to work law and drilling off the coast of Virginia.
“This is the most critical election we’ve seen in modern American history and there is no rationale for the Obama presidency,’’ said McDonnell, according to the report. “I believe for such a time as this, by divine providence we get the right kind of leader.’’
Romney told guests he loves America, praised the troops and lamented the sluggish economy.
“Almost every other day I’ll sit down with a group of individuals, and sometimes it’s kind of heartbreaking” he said. “Obama didn’t create the recession, but he has overseen the most tepid recovery we have seen since Hoover.”