Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

N.J. Republicans Making Cash Connections

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

N.J. Republicans Making Cash Connections

Article excerpt

TAMPA, Fla. -- After New Jersey's top Republican made a splash with his keynote convention speech, it was time for the party to make some cash.

Governor Christie headlined a fundraiser where the ticket price was $25,000 to benefit the New Jersey Republican Party, one of many opportunities for parties and candidates to raise money behind the convention scenes.

For some events -- like Christie's, his only fundraising event of the convention -- the goal is to raise money directly. Other events, like the numerous breakfast meetings, lunches, panel discussions and after parties that crowd the unofficial convention schedule, are designed for candidates to meet potential donors.

About 50 people attended the event Tuesday at the Westin Tampa Harbour Island with Christie. Its $25,000 admission is the maximum an individual, corporation or political action committee can donate to the state party. Most, however, were there as non-paying guests.

That same night, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno hosted a viewing party for Republicans in New Jersey to watch Christie's speech on TV from the Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park. Tickets to that event were only $50. Hundreds of people attended the affair, which also benefited the New Jersey GOP.

Longtime Monmouth County state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos was one of the guests at the Republican State Committee's fundraiser, celebrating with Christie after he delivered the keynote address.

Kyrillos is not a convention delegate -- he's accompanying his wife, who is -- but he has been busy promoting his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Bob Menendez. Kyrillos did radio, television and print-news interviews while in Florida -- and he was at events to meet donors.

On Sunday night, Kyrillos went to a reception at the Florida home of Melvin Floyd Sembler, U.S. ambassador to Italy from December 2001 until July 2005. Kyrillos said the event featured leaders and significant donors to the Republican Jewish Coalition, some of whom had dinner with him after the event.

On Tuesday, Kyrillos was one of three candidates who spoke at the National Republican Senatorial Committee's luncheon.

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, R-Fla., and Texas Republican Ted Cruz, who are both running for the U.S. Senate, also spoke at the event.

"That was a good opportunity for me to connect with a new and different audience of people that care about the Senate and care about the country," Kyrillos said.

He held a farewell breakfast for the New Jersey delegation at the Sirata Beach Resort on Thursday morning, also drumming up support. He said that while he knew just about all the roughly 600 people in the Garden State entourage, events like his breakfast gave him an opportunity to shake hands with people, share his platform and energize them.

"I requested and called on them this morning to really, really work hard and help me succeed," Kyrillos said on Thursday afternoon. …

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