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Former Vice President Mike Pence and several other potential 2024 presidential candidates are descending upon Texas next week to thank donors to the 2020 campaign here and to help raise money to flip the U.S House next year.
The group of high-profile Republicans are set to appear May 7 at an Austin resort where each will be interviewed by members of the Texas congressional delegation, according to a schedule obtained by The Texas Tribune. The group includes Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida.
The event at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa is being hosted by Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, and it is meant to serve as a show of appreciation to donors who raised millions of dollars last year for efforts to keep Texas red and register new GOP voters.
Cornyn is set to be the delegation member who interviews Pence, while U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin will interview Pompeo, U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales of San Antonio will interview Rubio, U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Houston will interview DeSantis, Rep. August Pfluger of San Angelo will interview Cotton, Rep. Roger Williams of Austin will interview Rick Scott, Rep. Kevin Brady of The Woodlands will interview Tim Scott and Rep. Beth Van Duyne of Arlington will interview Christie.
Abbott, who himself has not ruled out a 2024 White House bid, is expected to speak but may have to stick around the Texas Capitol, where the biennial legislative session is in its final weeks.
The big-name Republicans are using the Texas trip to also disperse across the state to fundraise for Take Back the House Texas 2022, a joint fundraising committee made up of the campaigns of the Texas GOP congressmen who had the closest races last year, according to a source familiar with their plans but not authorized to discuss them on the record. Pence will raise money for the committee Thursday in Austin, while Cotton will be in Fort Worth a day earlier. There will also be fundraisers Thursday with Pompeo in Houston, Rubio in San Antonio, and Tim Scott and Chris Christie in Dallas.
The visit to Texas is especially notable for Pence, who has laid low since leaving office in January amid a falling out with former President Donald Trump. He traveled to South Carolina on Thursday to deliver his first political speech since his time as vice president came to an end.