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Fiorina gets boost from Tim Pawlenty

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a likely Republican contender for president in 2012, is holding a fundraiser Tuesday in Minneapolis for Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina. The event will help boost Fiorina's coffers after a rocky June fundraising period.

Fiorina’s campaign would not reveal the expected take from the event. But after the reporting period that ended June 30, Fiorina’s opponent, Sen. Barbara Boxer, had 12 times more cash on hand – $11.3 million to Fiorina’s $952,786. 

Fiorina and Pawlenty got to know each other during the 2008 campaign when both were surrogates for Republican presidential nominee John McCain. Pawlenty’s Freedom First political action committee has raised $2.6 million for the 2010 cycle.

Pawlenty has styled himself as a different kind of Republican -- one of his favorite lines was that the Republican Party should represent "Sam's Club, not just the country club" -- and last week he suggested at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast that Fiorina and gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman could be part of a new image for the Republican Party. 

“There’s going to be six or eight next-generation folks who are not middle-aged, white guy CEOs,” Pawlenty was quoted as saying by the Washington Post. “So it’s going to be a new day, a new era in terms of the face and voice and tone of the Republican Party.” 

Pawlenty is not the only potential 2012 contender to offer assistance to the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive. Fiorina’s aides credited the endorsement of Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, with helping Fiorina clinch her Republican primary win.

Several other Republican party stars are expected to lend Fiorina a hand with fundraising this fall including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who endorsed Fiorina the day after the primary as a candidate “we can count on to say no to reckless spending in Washington.”

-- Maeve Reston in Los Angeles
 
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