The reception organized by Reed’s longtime finance chief, Julie Andrews (not that one), will be held Sunday, Feb. 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Garden Room of the Providence Biltmore Hotel. Suggested contributions are $100 to $1,000. Invitations to the event went out last week.
Reed, who isn’t on the ballot until next November, is taking the same approach as his colleague U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who kicked off his own re-election bid with a January 2011 event in the same location.
The fundraiser’s co-chairs are Reed’s three colleagues in Rhode Island’s congressional delegation: Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline. The event also boasts a huge host committee that includes all five of the state’s general officers plus House Speaker Gordon Fox, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and six Democratic mayors. (See the full list after the jump.)
Three potential rivals for governor are all on Reed’s host committee – independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Treasurer Gina Raimondo – though the one Democratic candidate who’s actually announced so far, former Auditor General Ernie Almonte, is not.
Reed’s campaign had $1.9 million on hand as of Dec. 31, a spokesman said. A Public Policy Polling survey last month showed Reed with a 29-point point lead over Republican Brendan Doherty, his closest competitor in a set of hypothetical contests. He was first elected to the Senate in 1996.