Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney plans to come to North Carolina on April 18 for two fundraisers – a luncheon at the Angus Barn in Raleigh and an evening event at Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte.
The state’s GOP presidential primary isn’t until May 8, but early voting starts April 19 – the day after front-runner Romney’s visit.
N.C. Republicans invited to attend the Romney fundraisers can be listed as an “Event Chair” if they raise $25,000 or as a “Host Committee Member” if they raise $10,000.
Those who raise $5,000 can attend a “VIP Photo Reception.”
The cost to attend the general reception is $1,000 per person or $2,000 per couple.
“This is a terrific day for North Carolina and your leadership will be a great investment in the future of America,” Dave Phillips, the Romney campaign’s N.C. finance chairman, wrote in a letter inviting potential donors. Phillips, of High Point, is former U.S. ambassador to Estonia.
A poll released last week showed Romney narrowly leading the Republican field in North Carolina.
According to Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh-based Democratic firm, Romney led with 31 percent, followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 27 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia at 24 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 8 percent. The margin of error: 4.4 percentage points.
A win in North Carolina would be a special boost for Romney, who is looking to prove his appeal in the South, a GOP stronghold. He won in Florida, but lost to Santorum in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. He lost to Gingrich in South Carolina and Georgia.
Also at stake May 8: North Carolina’s 55 national convention delegates, which will be awarded on a proportional, not winner-take-all, basis.
Romney has been endorsed by GOP Sen. Richard Burr, the state’s senior senator.
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