Mitt Romney will visit the Nichols Hills home of Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm on May 9 to raise funds for his presidential race.
Donors who attend the private fundraiser, expected to last a few hours, will contribute a minimum of $1,000 to Romney's campaign, said Somerlyn Cothran, CEO of Cothran Development Strategies, the Ada firm leading Romney's Oklahoma fundraising activities. More expensive sponsorships also are available, Cothran said.
“They're trying to raise as much as they can,” Cothran said. “I hope we raise half a million dollars. That would be wonderful.”
Romney last month chose Hamm, who founded the Oklahoma City energy firm, to lead the candidate's Energy Policy Advisory Group. Hamm and his wife, Sue Ann, will host the event at their home.
Hamm said planning for the event began before Romney selected him as an energy adviser for the campaign.
“I think it's important to support good people, and he's certainly one of those — he falls in that category, for sure,” Hamm said.
While in Oklahoma, Romney likely will discuss the nation's energy policy, Hamm said.
“I can't put words in his mouth, but that certainly is a top issue in Oklahoma,” he said. “We invited everybody we knew, but I know a lot of oil folks.”
Hamm said he's looking forward to welcoming Romney back to Oklahoma, and to his home.
“We're going to have to rake some of the flower beds,” Hamm said. “We'll have a good showing for him.”
With Republican Rick Santorum shutting down his campaign, Romney has become the presumptive GOP candidate to face President Barack Obama in November. That can provide a boost to fundraising, Cothran said.
“He's our best chance to beat Barack Obama from a Republican standpoint,” she said. “The Republicans say we've got to get behind one person now and it's about that time. It is becoming more and more apparent that he will be the nominee.”
Official invitations will be distributed statewide within the next week. Cothran said about 150 to 200 people are expected to attend the fundraiser.
“For security reasons, for all kinds of reasons, we don't want the Hamms' home overloaded with tons of people and that's one reason the price tag is larger. The space is limited,” she said.