A fundraiser benefitting Republican Sen. Greg Steube’s bid for Florida’s 17th Congressional District will be held Wednesday night in Sarasota.
The event has will be held in The Tasting Room at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, 7051 Wireless Court, from 5:30 PM to 7 PM.
Hosting the event are John and Denise Saputo, who own the beer distributor. John Saputo is also a retired U.S. Marines colonel who has been nationally recognized for his philanthropic pursuits.
The invite also lists several dozen names on the host committee, including 10 of the 23 Republicans in the Florida Senate. Topping the list are Senate President Joe Negron, Senate President Designate Bill Galvano, Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson, Ocala Sen. Dennis Baxley, Jacksonville Sen. Aaron Bean, Fort Myers Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, St. Augustine Sen. Travis Hutson, Naples Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, Gainesville Sen. Keith Perry and Lakeland Sen. Kelli Stargel.
Also included are the sheriffs of Charlotte, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Lee, Manatee and Okeechobee counties, state Reps. Jake Raburn, James Grant, Jim Boyd and Ben Albritton, as well as former Senate Presidents John McKay and Mike Haridopolos.
The event invite lists a suggested contribution of $100 to attend. RSVPs can be sent to Kelly Dowd via Kelly@ElectGregSteube.com.
Steube faces state Rep. Julio Gonzalez and others in the Republican Primary for CD 17, which is opening up this year due to the retirement of U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney. Two Democrats are also currently running for the seat, which has a heavy Republican advantage.
Gonzalez, a Sarasota Republican, currently leads the in fundraising with nearly $234,000 in contributions during the first few weeks of his campaign compared to $63,550 for Steube. The bulk of Gonzalez’ advantage comes from candidate loans, which measured in at $150,000 in Q1, compared to $15,000 in loans for Steube. Gonzalez had $230,000 on hand on March 31, while Steube had $56,000 in the bank.
Steube, currently in his first term as a Florida Senator, was the first major candidate to file for CD 17 after Rooney’s announcement and included a long list of early backers in his announcement. Gonzalez followed after the 2018 Legislative Session wrapped.
The Republican and Democratic primary elections will be held Aug. 28. The general election will be held Nov. 6.
The fundraiser invite is below.