A herd of elephants: GOP star Paul Ryan, others headed to Park City | ParkRecord.com

A herd of elephants: GOP star Paul Ryan, others headed to Park City

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Congressman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican seen as potentially becoming Mitt Romney’s running mate, is scheduled to visit the Park City area next week as the headliner of a fundraiser for a GOP congressional candidate.

The event, set for Friday at the clubhouse at Glenwild, is expected to draw a roster of top-level state Republicans to raise money for Mia Love, the candidate attempting to unseat Rep. Jim Matheson in the state’s 4th Congressional District.

Love’s campaign said others who might be in attendance include Gov. Gary Herbert, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Jason Chaffetz. The roster represents the hierarchy of Utah politics, and it would be rare for the Park City area to host such a gathering of Republican luminaries.

A VIP reception is priced at $2,500 per person and a general reception is set at $1,000, according to an invitation to the event. Others scheduled to appear include Josh Romney, one of the White House hopeful’s sons, and Republican National Committeeman Bruce Hough, a Park City resident.

The Love campaign is pleased Ryan agreed to travel to Park City for the fundraiser. Brain Somers, the communications director for Love, said Ryan has supported Love for some time. Somers declined to discuss the Love campaign’s fundraising goals for the event.

"The message that Mia has, her story, are things that are resonating on the national level," Somers said, adding, "Mia Love is going to be an ally for Congressman Ryan."

Neither Love nor Ryan appears to have public events scheduled while they are in Park City.

Love is the mayor of Saratoga Springs, a community on the shores of Utah Lake. Somers said she does not have personal or political ties to the Park City area.

Somers said Ryan could speak about fiscal issues during his appearance and describe "the team that he needs in Congress."

Ryan, a seven-term congressman, is the chairman of the House Budget Committee. There has been widespread chatter about the prospects of Romney picking him as his vice presidential candidate.

The fundraiser is scheduled at about the same time Romney might visit Park City for a retreat involving high-level donors. The retreat is scheduled from Friday until Sunday. A spokesperson for the Ryan campaign referred questions about the possibility of the two meeting in Park City to the Romney camp. A representative for Romney’s campaign declined to discuss the upcoming events.

The Park City area, the wealthiest part of the state, has been the site of a series of fundraisers involving high-profile politicians from both of the major parties since the 2008 election cycle.

Vice President Joe Biden is slated to visit the Park City area on July 10 for a fundraiser. Others who have made campaign swings through the Park City area have included President Bush, Barack Obama while he was seeking his party’s nomination, Rudy Giuliani and Jon Huntsman. First lady Michelle Obama has also made a fundraising trip to the Park City area.