Ballot Box

‘Pawn Star’ to host birthday fundraiser for Marco Rubio

Greg Nash

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced on Tuesday that “Pawn Stars” personality Rick Harrison will host a birthday fundraiser for the GOP White House hopeful in Las Vegas next week.

The reality TV celebrity will welcome Rubio to his home on May 28 for a party aimed at netting contributions for the Florida senator’s young 2016 presidential campaign, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Harrison’s wife, DeAnna, and Nevada Lt. Gov. Mike Hutchison (R) plan on co-hosting the event.

Hutchison is Rubio’s Nevada campaign chairman.

{mosads}The popular “Pawn Stars” series airs on the History Channel and documents the daily business of Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, a 24-hour business located in Sin City.

The Sun added that GOP operative Mike Slanker will also attend the festivities. Slanker, one of Nevada’s major Republican strategists, will conduct Rubio’s campaign operations in the Silver State.

He helped earn Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) his resounding victory in the 2014 election cycle.

Slanker also ran former Nevada campaign operations for former Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) during his failed 2012 Oval Office bid.

The Sun speculated that Slanker would tout Rubio’s immigrant parentage and Latino roots in a play for Nevada’s Hispanic voting bloc, which constitutes 27 percent of its population.

“Mike’s first priority will be running our campaign in Nevada, under the leadership of our Nevada chair, Lt. Gov. Mike Hutchison,” said Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Conant.

“We intend to compete in all the early states because Marco is a new-generation conservative who can unite the country and inspire the party,” Conant added.

Nevada is one of the crucial swing states that will likely be up for grabs in the general election.

Rubio officially announced his White House run on April 13 in Miami, joining what will potentially be one of the most crowded GOP presidential fields in recent memory.

Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.) entered the race before Rubio, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have joined it since.

Rubio’s mentor in Florida, former Gov. Jeb Bush, is rumored to be joining the contest in the coming weeks or months.

Govs. Scott Walker (Wis.), Chris Christie (N.J.), Bobby Jindal (La.) and former Gov. George Pataki (N.Y.) have also expressed interest in pursuing their party’s nomination.

Tags Marco Rubio Mark Slanker Mike Hutchison Rick Harrison

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