Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is weighing whether to enter the Republican presidential race, will next week attend a two-day summit in Aspen, Colo., with about 200 of the party’s top donors.
The Republican Governors Association gathering offers Perry an opportunity to take stock of the support for his potential candidacy among an influential group of Republican benefactors, many of whom have not yet backed a 2012 presidential candidate.
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The event is a quarterly meeting of the RGA’s Executive Roundtable, bringing together Perry and at least seven other governors with about 200 donors. There are two dinners scheduled as well as a series of policy discussions. Invited donors have contributed at least $25,000 to the organization, according to a source who described the event on the condition of anonymity.
As for the 2012 presidential contest, the source said, “A lot of them aren’t decided. The field is not completely formed yet.”
It is hardly surprising that Perry plans to attend, considering he is the RGA’s new chairman, having succeeded Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour after Barbour ran the group through the 2010 midterm elections.
But the timing of the gathering gives Perry an important chance to privately make his case for a presidential bid. In recent weeks, Perry and his advisers have been calling Republican donors and activists across the country as the tea-party favorite considers whether to enter the 2012 race.
The Aspen gathering will be July 21 to 22, following the National Governors Association annual meeting in Salt Lake City.
Perry will be joined in Aspen by Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, who serves as the RGA’s vice chairman, as well as several newly-elected GOP stars, including South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. The source said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Gov. Rick Scott are not planning to attend.
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