House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will join members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) at a reception Wednesday evening.
Boehner will attend a reception with RNC members in an event several days before committee members vote on choosing a new chairman.
"Speaker Boehner will attend an organizational meeting with RNC members this evening, but will leave before the president’s speech begins," said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for Boehner's political organization.
The reception is the first meeting of the RNC since Republicans took control of the House and will be an opportunity for the Speaker to introduce himself and talk with many of the members he met while traveling during last year's campaign cycle.
An invitation to the event has been circulating through the media Wednesday, and Boehner's presence at the function could attract more support for Maria Cino, the former RNC deputy chairwoman who's running to lead the committee in the next cycle.
Boehner had previously made some calls to RNC members to encourage their support for Cino, who's one of a handful of candidates vying for the job for which a vote is set later this week. Cino at this point is not considered a frontrunner for the job, but with a number of voting RNC members not having declared their support, Boehner's backing could add to Cino's bid.
It's also significant that Boehner plans to leave the reception before President Obama's planned speech at 8 p.m. EST at a memorial service in Arizona for victims of Saturday's attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). The new Speaker has sought to keep politics in the background of this week's remembrances, evidenced in part by his decision to postpone a vote to repeal the president's healthcare reform law.