Mitt Romney to host fundraiser for Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie

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Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie will receive a major fundraising boost next month from former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who will host dual events on Gillespie's behalf in New York City.

Romney will headline a reception March 25 at Essex House, a hotel adjacent to Central Park, followed by a dinner at the home of Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, the Washington Examiner has learned. Gillespie's campaign will bring in $1,000 per person for the reception and $5,200 for the reception and dinner -- the federal limit for an individual campaign contribution.

Gillespie's campaign confirmed the events and said Gillespie plans to attend.

Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman, last month announced an unlikely bid to unseat Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. Early polls showed Warner leading Gillespie by double-digits, but a strong first fundraising quarter would go a long way toward helping Gillespie prove he is a serious contender in the race.

Prior to Gillespie's decision, few expected Virginia to be a battleground state during this midterm election cycle. But Gillespie has a vast network of connections within the Republican Party, including major donors and political figures, such as Romney, who could potentially help boost his campaign.

The fundraiser for Gillespie will be one of only a few Romney has headlined since losing the presidential race in 2012, and he has only recently begun to gradually re-introduce himself to political life. On Thursday, Romney hosted a fundraiser in Boston on behalf of the Republican Governors Association with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the association's current chair.

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