LIMA — Sean Spicer, former press secretary for President Donald Trump and a long-time political operative, visited Lima on Wednesday night for a private fundraising reception and dinner held at Shawnee Country Club.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken said Spicer’s fundraising appearance in Allen County helps Ohio Republicans prepare for future elections by building up its resources and collecting voter data on what conservative issues are important to constituents.
Spicer’s work in Lima is also part of America First’s efforts to re-win Ohio in 2020. The super-political action committee announced Wednesday that American First has “pegged Ohio as a must-win state in the 2020 election.”
“How we’re viewing these six states is they’re the states with the most electoral votes and the most expensive media markets to play in,” Kelly Sadler, spokeswoman for America First, said in a press release.
In comparison, Priorities USA, a prominent Democratic super PAC, has recently determined that it will be spending less of its own fundraising dollars in the state after the 2018 election proved Republicans had tightened their hold on the state following Trump’s win in 2016.
As for Spicer’s appeal, Timken said many people view him as a part of Trump’s world.
“The former White House press secretary has a story to tell,” Timken said. “They like to hear the inside story.”
Wednesday’s event included a cocktail reception and private sponsor dinner. Tickets were $100 per person for the event, or $150 per couple, which included an autographed copy of “The Briefing” — Spicer’s book detailing his inside view of Trump’s political successes. Private dinner sponsor levels were $1,000 and $2,500.
Wednesday’s event was not open to the press, and Spicer was not available to speak to The Lima News.
Other Ohio events planned for Spicer include private fundraisers in Powell, Findlay and Marion.
Timken said since taking the leadership position of the Ohio Republican Party, she has worked to ensure all 88 of Ohio’s counties feel included in discussions about the larger party, and she has the mileage on her car to prove it. In the last year, she has added 80,000 miles to a new car she bought last June. Spicer’s visit to the region is a part of that initiative to go after some of Ohio’s smaller cities.
“I’m very grateful he’s coming in for us,” Timken said. “Ohio is going to be another battleground state.”
Spicer served as Trump’s press secretary until June 21, 2017, when he resigned. Prior to his position at the White House, Spicer acted as communications director and chief strategist of the Republican National Committee.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.