By Associated Press - Friday, April 16, 2021

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, who is considering running for the U.S. Senate, plans to hold a fundraising event at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

An invitation to the April 30 event lists Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson as honorary hosts, although they have not confirmed they will attend, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Conservative stars such as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, also are listed on the invitation.

Smith, from Salem, has said he is considering running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt, who is retiring.

Former Gov. Eric Greitens and Attorney General Eric Schmitt are the only two announced Republican candidates in the race.

Trump’s endorsement could be crucial in the primary. He won Missouri by more than 15 percentage points over Democrat Joe Biden in last year’s presidential race.

The fundraiser “is being held at Mar-a-Lago because that’s the center of the America First agenda,” Josh Siegel, Smith’s campaign manager, said in an email.

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