Paul Ryan to Chair GOP Fundraising Dinner

Posted April 28, 2009 at 11:24am

Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) will chair the annual bicameral Republican fundraising dinner in June with the goal of raising $5 million for GOP campaigns, House Republican leaders announced during a closed-door meeting of the Conference on Tuesday.

A source in the room said Ryan joked that “those team captains who meet their [fundraising] goal will receive a fine assortment of Wisconsin cheeses.—

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) will be the featured speaker in lieu of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), who declined the invitation.

The $5 million goal is $2 million less than last year’s target.

Tuesday’s conference meeting was largely upbeat despite the party’s failure to win back New York’s 20th Congressional seat late last week, according to several sources in room. Republican Jim Tedisco lost that race to Democrat Scott Murphy by fewer than 400 votes.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke about the race only briefly, saying, “I’m certainly disappointed we didn’t win,— according to a source. “We will learn the lessons and apply them to future races.—

He then praised the party’s candidate recruitment, as a handful of potential challengers, including former Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), were introduced to the Conference.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) praised the fundraising efforts of Members so far in the cycle, revealing that just two House GOPers did not contribute to the party’s March fundraising dinner, which raised more than $6 million. The names of the members could not be immediately confirmed.