Several of the area’s most prominent Republican money men will hold a fundraiser for Gov. Rick Scott tonight in Tampa, while Orlando superlawyer and philanthropist John Morgan will hold his first fundraiser for Scott’s likely Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist.
The Scott event, at $1,000 per person or $10,000 for the VIP receptionn with photo op, will be at the Bayshore Boulevard home of Gary and Margo Harrod -- he’s in commercial real estate.
The host list includes GOP megadonor and fundraiser Mel Sembler; his son and business partner Brent Sembler; Tampa accountants and campaign finance gurus Robert and Nancy Watkins; St. Petersburg business magnate Jim MacDougald; Tampa developers Al Austin and Dick Beard; Pioneer Natural Resources executive Tom Arthur; investment banker Rick Michaels; and former state representative and businessman Trey Traviesa.
The kicker: Crist also got an invitation to the Scott event, he said Thursday. He couldn't explain why.
Although Morgan’s financial backing is likely to be one of Crist’s biggest assets in the race, Morgan hasn’t yet contributed to the campaign, and this is his first fundraiser. The invite specifies a maximum contribution of $3,000, but no minimum.
Asked how much he hopes or expects to raise for Crist at the event, Morgan said $2 million - even though he himself still hasn't donated.
Crist is a lawyer with Morgan’s “for the people” law firm, Morgan & Morgan of Orlando.
Yesterday, Crist announced the support of prominent Tampa businessman and philanthropist David Straz.