Boosters of Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) said they raised about $250,000 at an Annapolis wine bar Monday to help pay some outstanding bills incurred by the Maryland Republican Party and to start stockpiling funds for the future.
The afternoon gathering drew about 125 people, many with business ties, to the Red Red Wine Bar on Main Street, according to Kellley Rogers, an Arlington-based Republican campaign consultant who was the chief organizer.
An invitation billed the fundraiser as “a luncheon and meet & greet in celebration of the election and Maryland’s new direction.” Tickets were $4,000 apiece, and many participants stayed hours after Hogan had departed.
“It was a pretty good little event,” said Rogers, who described his relationship with Hogan as “just a cheerleader who wants to see him succeed.”
Hogan opted to participate in Maryland’s public financing system this year and was prohibited from raising money directly into his campaign. For the general election, he was given a grant by the state of about $2.6 million.
But Hogan was allowed to help the state GOP raise money to promote his candidacy, and with Monday’s event, he was continuing to do so after the election. To help Hogan, the state party set up an account called “the Hogan Victory Fund.”
A report released Monday showed that the party raised more than $800,000 in the final two weeks before the election and the one following it.
As of Nov. 11, the party reporting having about $86,000 in outstanding loans and bills due and about $58,000 in the bank.
Besides paying bills, Joe Cluster, the party’s executive director, said Tuesday that money raised from Monday’s event could also be spent on future needs.