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Pawlenty to hold fundraiser for Florida candidate Rubio

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) is hosting a fundraiser in Minnesota Friday for Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate for Senate in Florida, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

Pawlenty declined to take a side in the contested Republican primary between Rubio, a former state House speaker, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) before Crist’s departure from the GOP in late April. Other potential 2012 hopefuls, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), had come out in favor of Rubio in the primary, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) first hinted that she would back Rubio during the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in mid-April.

Pawlenty adviser Alex Conant praised Rubio as representing the future of the Republican Party, and said that Pawlenty “wants to do whatever he can to help Rubio's campaign.”

Pawlenty announced last year that he will not seek a third term as governor, and has been shoring up his conservative credentials as his tenure in the governor's mansion winds to an end.

Tickets for the luncheon, at which Rubio will deliver remarks, are $1,000 per person, and $10,000 for members of the Minnesota Leadership Committee, which is hosting the event.

-- Felicia Sonmez

By Felicia Sonmez  |  June 3, 2010; 1:23 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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