While 23 charities have decided to move their fundraisers from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club for the upcoming 2017-18 social season, the Palm Beach County Republican Party plans to return for a sixth straight year.
County GOP Chairman Michael Barnett says the party has booked Mar-a-Lago for March 16 for its annual Lincoln Day fundraising dinner.
The party paid Mar-a-Lago about $150,000 for this year’s dinner, which drew about 700 people and raised about $300,000 in March.
Trump made seven weekend visits to Mar-a-Lago between February and April, but was in Washington during the GOP dinner. First lady Melania Trump, however, did put in a brief appearance at a VIP reception before this year’s main event.
Trump attended the 2014 Palm Beach County GOP dinner at Mar-a-Lago and introduced keynote speaker Ted Cruz as a “special guy.”
As a presidential candidate in 2016, Trump attended the county GOP event and made a pledge to list potential Supreme Court nominees to assuage conservative concerns about his judicial appointments.
A 2018 Lincoln Day speaker has not been announced, but Barnett said Trump’s winter White House is its own draw.
“It’s just a beautiful venue,” Barnett said. “Everybody loves it. We’ve had great attendance going back to 2013 just because it’s Donald Trump’s house. Our goal was to turn Lincoln Day into an attraction by itself regardless of who the speaker is.”