Gardner in Tampa for Jeb Bush fundraiser Tuesday

Politics

U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, waves to supporters as he officially launches his U.S. Senate campaign in late February at a Denver lumber business.

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DENVER — Colorado U.S. Senate hopeful Cory Gardner will be in Tampa, Fla. Tuesday night for a fundraiser hosted by former Florida Governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

Bush is holding a joint reception for five top GOP Senate hopefuls: Gardner, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Monica Wehby of Oregon.

A joint candidates’ committee, Floridians for a Senate Majority, was formed for the event, which organizers hope will raise at least $500,000.

Host committee is $26,000 per couple; to attend is $2,600 per person or $5,200 per couple.

Gardner, who didn’t enter the race until Februrary, has lagged behind Udall in terms of fundraising, a gap that’s being offset largely by a number of outside groups spending millions on behalf of both candidates.

Despite a relentless barrage of attack ads hitting Gardner for his past support for Colorado’s personhood measure and his ongoing and seemingly conflicting support for federal personhood legislation, polls show the race to be among the closest in the entire country.

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