Mike Pence to headline Georgia GOP’s March fundraiser

Vice President Mike Pence is headed to Atlanta this month to headline a major fundraising dinner for the Georgia GOP as the state party tries to stockpile cash for a competitive statewide election season.

Pence will speak at the state party’s annual Presidents’ Day Dinner on March 23. Tickets range from $200 for entry into the event to $50,000 for a seat at the vice president’s table during the dinner.

The party is trying to dig out of more than $600,000 in debt, largely from mounting legal bills linked to a racial discrimination lawsuit that was recently settled after three years of litigation. John Watson, elected party chair last year, has pledged to rev up fundraising and move past the legal wrangling.

Georgia Republicans have plenty to defend this November. The party holds every statewide office and commanding majorities in the Legislature, but Democrats infuriated by Donald Trump’s presidency and emboldened by upset victories have drafted contenders up and down the ballot.

Pence is no stranger to Georgia. He stumped across the state during the 2016 campaign and he traveled to the north Atlanta suburbs last year to boost Republican Karen Handel's successful bid for an open U.S. House seat.

He also has close ties to the Georgia Republican apparatus. His top aide, Nick Ayers, was a longtime aide to former Gov. Sonny Perdue and a Watson confidante.

The vice president is a regular on the fundraising circuit. He's launched a campaign blitz this year for Republican candidates facing midterm elections that includes stops in PennsylvaniaIowa and New Hampshire.