GOP looks for new date for Pence’s Buf­falo visit

The Buffalo News - - WEATHER - By Robert J. Mc­Carthy

Just as lo­cal sup­port­ers were ready to drop in­vi­ta­tions in the mail, an April 11 fundraiser in Buf­falo fea­tur­ing Vice Pres­i­dent Pence has been post­poned.

But the event is ex­pected to still take place on a yet to be de­ter­mined date, ac­cord­ing to one of its or­ga­niz­ers, An­thony H. Gioia, a re­tired busi­ness­man and for­mer am­bas­sador to Malta who said lo­cal or­ga­niz­ers were asked to find an­other date by the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee af­ter Pence com­mit­ted to a United Na­tions event on the same day.

“We’re go­ing to try to get an­other date,” Gioia said.

Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corn­ing, was also serv­ing as one of the or­ga­niz­ers, ac­cord­ing to three sources in­volved in plan­ning. Reed main­tains strong White House ties and has emerged as one of New York State’s top Repub­li­cans. Other plan­ners in­clude Erie County Repub­li­can Chair­man Ni­cholas A. Lang­wor­thy; Ge­off Ver­hoff, a Wash­ing­ton lob­by­ist with ties to Western New York; and busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives Kent and Lau­rie Frey and Jerry Buch­heit.

No venue had been selected for the af­fair, which fea­tured three con­tribut­ing lev­els for the gen­eral re­cep­tion, a photo op­por­tu­nity and din­ner with the vice pres­i­dent.

Pence last vis­ited Buf­falo in Oc­to­ber of 2017 in a day­long swing through the area, in­clud­ing a fundraiser at Sal­va­tore’s Ital­ian Gar­dens in Lan­caster that net­ted $400,000 for lo­cal and na­tional Repub­li­cans. He also ad­dressed about 100 sup­port­ers and em­ploy­ees of Per­for­mance Ad­van­tage Co. in Lan­caster, which makes equip­ment mount­ings for fire trucks, the mil­i­tary and in­dus­try. The 2017 event was mainly or­ches­trated by Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, though it is not known if he will have any con­nec­tion to the April fundraiser.

The event is ex­pected to at­tract sup­port­ers of the ad­min­is­tra­tion from across the state.

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