« While we understand communication can be difficult at times, we still think communication is necessary, » Garvey continued, adding that he was « disappointed » when he received no apology for the offense.
A representative of the DeSantis campaign returned no messages. The campaign moved the fundraiser to a more private location after Democratic groups planned to protest the event, according to a person with knowledge of the event.
The original seat is part of Republican Representative Mike Lawler’s 17th congressional district, which is a key target for Democrats and their plan to win back the House in 2024.
Lawler, like most of the Republican congressional delegation in New York, did not say who will return to challenge President Joe Biden. A spokesman for the deputy did not comment.
This week’s Siena poll found that 61% of New York Republicans would vote for Donald Trump if the primary were held now. If Trump weren’t the nominee, DeSantis would be the next preferred pick by a wide margin.
« Some people really like it, » said a New York Republican official. « ‘It’s Trump-ish without the baggage,’ is the general feeling. »
That official said he wouldn’t expect the state’s congressional Republicans to start approving until at least this fall. « It’s a tough game, » he said. « You want to be early, but you don’t want to be wrong. »
DeSantis is also expected to raise donations at a Yale Club event in Manhattan on Thursday.
The lunch, another $6,600-a-plate deal, is hosted by such GOP returnees as William Heyman — a Travelers executive who was appointed to a New York Fed advisory board by then-President George W. Bush — and Buffalo real estate executive Nick Sinatra, who was a policy director in the Bush White House.
A version of this first appeared in June 29 edition of the New York Playbook.