Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam hosted a private fundraiser for Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign for reelection at the state’s executive residence Monday, reports The Tennessean.
The event, which Rubio attended, was co-hosted by Tennessee’s Republican U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. Corker was present for the fundraiser, but Alexander had to return to Washington D.C. from East Tennessee on Monday and was not in attendance, said an aide for the senator.
Haslam and Alexander endorsed Rubio’s Republican presidential primary bid days ahead of Tennessee’s March primary, just as Donald Trump had started to solidify himself as the GOP frontrunner. Their help fell short, however, as Rubio won only one of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Trump won the state in a landslide.
Rubio, after losing his presidential bid, opted to run for reelection and is now looking to stave off Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, a two-term Florida congressman.
The Rubio fundraiser marks the second campaign fundraiser that Haslam has held in recent months at the governor’s mansion, which is located in Nashville’s Oak Hill neighborhood.
Haslam in July hosted a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tennessee, ahead of her primary election against challenger Joe Carr.
Tennessee state Democrats criticized the governor for holding that event, arguing that the taxpayer-funded governor’s home is not a place where campaign events should be held.