HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - Vice President Mike Pence is in Orange County Wednesday to attend a fundraising luncheon. Pence and his wife were greeted by dozens of people as soon as they got off the plane.
The fundraiser at an undisclosed location in Huntington Beach will be one of several events during a two-day California swing for the vice president.
Citing an invitation for the event, the Orange County Register reported that tickets to the fundraiser range from $1,000 to $25,000. Among
those expected to attend, according to the Register, are Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, co-chair Timmy Hicks Jr., RNC Finance Chairman Todd Ricketts and Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.
Proceeds will benefit Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee of the Donald Trump reelection campaign and the RNC.
California Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel told City News Service Pence's visit appears to be a sign that "the GOP has rediscovered California.''
"We haven't seen a lot of activity here until January of this year, which is really odd, but there's been a rediscovery of tremendous support,'' he said.
Steel said he's noticed many "Never Trumpers'' showing up to Republican organizing committee meetings. "That shows me two things -- to me, there's a lot more cash on the table because of concerns about Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden seems to be losing his edge, and they're happily surprised with the economy,'' he said.
Orange County Republican Party Chairman Fred Whitaker said, "I'm sure the vice president won't raise quite as much money (as Trump did on a recent fundraising visit), but all the price levels are the same.''
Whitaker told CNS he has seen an uptick in fundraising in Orange County. Last year's election "was a real wake-up call,'' Whitaker said,
referring to Democrats taking all of the county's congressional seats.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
"People are investing, not only on the presidential level, but all of our congressional candidates,'' Whitaker said. ``People realize we'll have to fight hard.''
Whitaker said Pence is "a great guy. He's very down-to-earth, and pretty mild mannered and very conversational. I've always liked him. He's just a stand-up guy and I really like his wife, Karen. I've met her as well. It'll be fun to see them again.''
John Weber, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, issued a statement blasting Pence's fundraising trip.
"Pence should be ashamed to show his face in California -- let along sidle into Orange County asking for money,'' Weber said. ``He and Trump have viciously insulted this state, attacked working families' health care and cravenly threatened California's wildfire funding. That's why Californians rejected their right-wing agenda in 2016, it's why Orange County voters sent Republicans home in 2018 and it's why they'll do it again in 2020.''
Pence is scheduled to leave Orange County after the luncheon, bound for Monterey, where he will attend another fundraiser. He will then travel to the Bay Area, where he will visit NASA's Ames Research Center on Thursday before returning to Washington, D.C.
Pence was most recently in California in July, when he visited a pair of Naval bases and attended a fundraiser in San Diego. That trip also included stops at Naval Air Station Lemoore and Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc.