Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be appearing at a fundraiser for Rep. Jim Banks’ campaign to win Indiana’s open Senate seat in 2024.
An invitation to the March 28 fundraiser was obtained by Fox News Digital. It shows McConnell’s name at the top of a long list of Republican senators who are slated to attend on Banks’ behalf.
Banks is an ally of former President Donald Trump, and the first federal candidate to be endorsed by Trump for the 2024 cycle. The former president has made it his mission to see McConnell, R-Ky., removed from power within the Senate GOP.
The conservative Indiana congressman is the runaway favorite to win the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mike Braun, who is running for governor. But in campaigning for office in a chamber largely dominated by establishment Republicans, he’ll have to walk a fine line between Trump’s world and McConnell’s.
The event is being held at the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) headquarters in Washington, D.C. The committee functions at the Senate GOP’s campaign arm.
The NRSC is chaired by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., a McConnell ally.
A source familiar with the March 28 event told Fox News Digital that it’s being organized through Banks’ Senate campaign and not through the NRSC.
Some of the other senators expected to attend are Daines, John Cornyn, R-Texas, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and JD Vance, R-Ohio.
The fundraiser has two parts – a reception that costs at least $500 to attend, followed by a dinner with a $10,000-per-head price tag. The details of the event were first reported by Punchbowl News.
Political strategist Max Burns of Third Degree Strategies said McConnell’s expected attendance at the event shows that Trump is still a dominant force within the party.
“McConnell attending this fundraiser is another reminder that the GOP’s embrace of Trumpism is total,” Burns told Fox News Digital.
“Even self-described Trump critics like McConnell have no choice but to bow to avowed MAGA candidates like Jim Banks or else risk losing seats.”
But on the other end of the spectrum, political strategist Doug Heye downplayed any significant meaning for the future of the GOP.
“The party is coalescing behind Banks as the Senate nominee in Indiana. That’s it. Trump doesn’t enter the equation,” Heye told Fox News Digital.