On Monday, President Barack Obama will be in Dallas to raise money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
The Dallas County Democratic Party provided few details on the dinner other to say it will be a $15,000-per-plate affair at the home of attorney Russell Budd.
Budd is a partner in the law firm Baron & Budd. His late law partner Fred Baron was national campaign treasurer for John Edwards in 2008.
Few of this year’s candidates for Congress or statewide office said they plan to attend. Only lieutenant governor nominee Linda Chavez-Thompson expressed interest.
Katy Bacon, spokesperson for the Bill White campaign, said he doesn’t plan to attend.
“He will be in Midland, Abilene and Johnson County that day,” she said.
But she said he’s not avoiding the president.
“He has talked to him by phone from time to time,” she said.
She said that with just 90 days left until the election, White needs to get out and meet as many Texans as possible. She said the campaign is on track and that White out-raised Gov. Rick Perry three reporting periods in a row and currently has $3 million more cash on hand than the incumbent.
“When I heard President Obama would be visiting Dallas the week of August 9th, I immediately thought that he intended to come to my fundraiser on Wednesday, Aug. 11,” joked openly gay Dallas County District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons. “Regrettably that has turned out not to be the case.”
Fitzsimmons said Texas Democrats have historically been very generous donors to congressional campaigns around the country and that the president is doing everything he can to ensure Democratic candidates are competitive in the fall.
“It is a shame, however, that the president will not be having a public event in North Texas this time around,” he said. “President Obama is enormously popular here in Dallas County.”
Congressional candidates were not invited to the events. Lainey Melnick, a Democrat running against Republican incumbent Lamar Smith in Austin, said she wanted to attend but was told she would have to pay $30,000 a couple.
Erin Moore, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, said she expected Republicans to have something to say about Obama’s visit. But she said that Dallas is still “blue” and supports him.
“He’s not coming to stump,” she said. “They’re down here raising money and we’re a big ATM. Fifteen thousand dollars a plate is worth a stop in Dallas.”
Moore said White and other top Democrats know Dallas’ big donors already and that attending a fundraising event for the national Senate candidates wouldn’t be a good use of campaign time.
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