Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty slipped into Florida for a series of low-key events to raise some much-needed cash and make a pitch to the states political elite.
With no public notice or events, Pawlenty wooed eight state lawmakers Thursday at the Biltmore hotel in Coral Gables and a dozen legislators Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency in Tampa. He also met a handful of lawmakers and potential supporters in Orlando. Most will be voters in the Sept. 24 Republican Party of Florida straw poll.
Though hes polling near the bottom of a crowded GOP field, Pawlenty opted against high-profile events to concentrate on fundraising, organizing and strategizing.
Its kind of a buffet of political stuff, Pawlenty said of his visit to Florida, a must-win state for Republicans seeking the White House.
Were not gonna have the Bentley or Mercedes level of funding like some other candidates, Pawlenty said. But we will at least have a Buick level to be able to get done in Phase 1, which is the early states, and do it at a competitive level.
The lawmakers who spoke to The Miami Herald after meeting Pawlenty gave positive reviews, but said they werent ready to give endorsements because they wanted to meet all the candidates.
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