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Mike Pence, Scott Wagner to attend GOP fundraiser in Philly

| Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 10:54 p.m.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas.
Associated Press
Vice President Mike Pence speaks Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas.

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Philadelphia next week for a fundraiser alongside GOP gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner, in another event putting President Trump's impression on key Pennsylvania races this year.

Pence is expected at an event Tuesday raising money for the Republican Governors Association, which tries to elect GOP governors across the country, the Wagner campaign confirmed to the Inquirer and Daily News.

Wagner, a brash businessman unafraid of public clashes, has a Trump-like reputation and keeps a Make America Great Again hat in his office at the waste-hauling firm he owns in York County. He is leading the Republican ticket in Pennsylvania alongside U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a close Trump ally who is running for the Senate.

Wagner is challenging Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat seeking a second term.

While Wagner has recently tried to soften his combative tone, his appearance with Pence would reinforce his links to Trump. The president won Pennsylvania in a major 2016 upset and remains popular in parts of the state but has struggled in polls in Philadelphia and its vote-rich suburbs.

Wagner, a self-described outsider and garbageman, has pledged to “take out the trash in Harrisburg” and recently resigned from the state Senate to focus on the governor's race. He has promoted his support for criminal justice reform, even tweeting thanks last week to two Philadelphia Eagles who supported such legislation — despite Trump's recent clash with the team.

Wolf's campaign describes Wagner as the “worst of Harrisburg” for opposing a tax on natural gas production, among other issues.

The event will be at the Rittenhouse Hotel, with campaign donors asked for up to $50,000 in contributions, according to one Republican familiar with the event. The source asked for anonymity to discuss the details of the event, which has not been publicly announced.

Pence's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the event.

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