To please the palate of George W. Bush, real estate mogul Dwight C. Schar ordered some barbecued brisket from down San Antonio way to give the Texas governor and presidential hopeful a down-home taste tonight at a major McLean fund-raiser for cash-hungry Virginia Republicans.
More than 100 business and political leaders--"a pretty good cross-section of our community," Schar said--were expected at the developer's home for the last of five celebrations marking the 50th birthday of Gov. James S. Gilmore III and to help raise money for Gilmore's New Majority Project PAC.
Gilmore hosted Bush's wife, Laura, in Roanoke last Wednesday, and his father, former president George Bush, in Richmond on Friday night, and lunched with the Texas governor in Norfolk earlier today before heading to Schar's.
GOP members of Virginia's delegation to Congress had accepted the invitation, including Sen. John W. Warner and Reps. Thomas M. Davis III of Northern Virginia, Herbert H. Bateman and Robert W. Goodlatte.
Corporate CEOs also planned to be on hand, including a number of high-technology executives who are emerging as more active contributors to General Assembly campaigns. All 140 seats in the legislature appear on the Nov. 2 ballot, and Gilmore is leading an energetic campaign to secure a Republican majority in both chambers of the assembly.
"We are excited about the coming of age of the technology community," Schar said today. "We're showing support for Governor Gilmore and Governor Bush, stepping up in full partnership."
Len Pomata, whose McLean-based Litton PRC is one of the region's major information technology firms, is co-hosting the dinner with Schar.
Schar, whose NV Ryan Homes has built thousands of suburban residences, said the guest list was limited to slightly more more than 100 people who paid $5,000 each for the evening.
The $500,000 soiree, which was closed to reporters, could push the grand total for the week of fund-raisers to close to $2 million, Gilmore aides said.
Richard Cullen, a former state attorney general and federal prosecutor, said he was traveling from his law offices in Richmond, where he is a corporate lawyer, to attend the fund-raiser.
"Any time Governor Bush is in town, we're eager to be with him," said Cullen, who met with him in Austin in March to discuss the formative presidential campaign.
"This is more significant because the funds will go to electing a Republican majority," Cullen added. "It's a win-win situation."
CAPTION: Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, right, introduces Texas Gov. George W. Bush to a crowd of Republicans in Norfolk.