Update: 11:52 a.m. It now appears Rubio’s Bellevue event has been postponed. A posting on a Facebook page of local Rubio supporters said the Florida senator must remain in Washington D.C. for a scheduled U.S. Senate vote related to Iran’s nuclear program. A Rubio spokesperson confirmed the cancellation in an email. No new date for the event has been announced.
Republican 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio will raise campaign cash Thursday in Bellevue.
Rubio, a U.S. Senator from Florida, plans to attend a 3:30 p.m. round-table discussion that will cost donors $2,700 per person or $5,400 per couple — followed by a reception at $1,000 per person. The events are to be held at Steelhead Partners, a Bellevue investment firm, according to a copy of the invitation. Hosts include the firm’s co-founder, Brian Klein, former state GOP chair Diane Tebelius, and local venture capitalist Matt McIlwain.
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No public events have been announced and organizers did not immediately respond to requests for more details.
Rubio’s visit follows a similar low-key, money-raising stopover by a man who was his political mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who also is traveling the country to raise money for 2016 presidential run — even though he has not declared as a candidate. Bush held a $12,500 per person fundraiser for his Right to Rise super PAC in Seattle last month.
Rubio, 43, entered the 2016 race last month, repeatedly calling for “a New American Century” in an effort to contrast himself with the dynasties represented by 2016 rivals, including Bush and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Bush and Rubio topped a crowd of declared or likely GOP presidential contenders in a recent NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll of Republican primary voters.
While he’s not well known in Washington state, a Rubio presidency could spell trouble for the state’s legalized marijuana system, if his recent comments are any indication.
In an interview last month with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt, Rubio was asked about Washington and Colorado’s legalized marijuana systems. Hewitt asked whether Rubio would “enforce the federal drug laws and shut down the marijuana trade?”
According to a transcript of the interview, Rubio responded: “Yes. Yes, I think, well, I think we need to enforce our federal laws. Now do states have a right to do what they want? They don’t agree with it, but they have their rights. But they don’t have a right to write federal policy as well. It is, I don’t believe we should be in the business of legalizing additional intoxicants in this country for the primary reason that when you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is it can’t be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal.”