ABC’s Michael Falcone reports:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is lending his support to former Bush administration official Maria Cino, who is an all-but-declared candidate for chair of the Republican National Committee.
Cheney will be one of the co-hosts of a fundraiser that Cino, a long-time GOP operative who served in the Department of Transportation during the Bush years, plans to hold to benefit her 527 group, “Maria for Chairman.”
The fundraiser will take place next Tuesday at the home of Republican strategist Mary Matalin, who is a close friend and backer of Cino.
Cino, who previously served as both deputy chairman of the RNC and executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has been contacting the RNC’s 168 committee members to gauge their support, according to a spokesman for the small group advising her.
"Maria appreciates the support and encouragement she's receiving as she continues to move toward a candidacy," the spokesman told ABC News.
Current RNC Chairman Michael Steele has yet to announce whether he is running for another term as chairman, but former Michigan GOP head Saul Anuzis and former Missouri GOP chair Ann Wagner have officially launched their own campaigns. And others may soon join them.
But Cino, who also served as CEO of the 2008 Republican National Convention, already has an impressive group of influential Republicans in her corner.
According to a copy of the invitation to next week’s fundraiser obtained by ABC News, other co-hosts of the event include Ed Gillespie, a former top aide to President George W. Bush, and former GOP representatives Susan Molinari and Bill Paxon, among others.
Tickets to the event range from $100 to $1,000.