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Larry Ellison and friends are hosting a fundraiser for Republican lawmakers

GOP Leader Mitch McConnell will join other GOP senators in the Bay Area this week.

Senate Legislators Address The Media After Their Weekly Policy Luncheons
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Alex Wong / Getty

Republicans have friends in Silicon Valley, too.

Undeterred by the region’s overwhelming opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump, a group of the Senate’s most powerful GOP lawmakers — led by Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — are slated to head to the Bay Area on Thursday for a high-dollar fundraiser at the home of Larry Ellison, the co-founder and former chief executive of Oracle.

Ellison’s expected co-hosts include the likes of Safra Catz, the current CEO of Oracle who has advised Trump in recent months; Mike Markkula, the former chief of Apple; Ted Ullyot, the former general counsel of Facebook who’s now at Andreessen Horowitz, and a selection of area investors, such as the Schwab family.

All are billed on an invite, obtained by Recode this week, that solicits other potential Bay Area hosts — if they’re willing to raise or contribute $35,000 to Republicans.

For Democrats and Republicans alike, Silicon Valley is an annual stop on the way to Election Day: The region’s executives are cash flush, politically inclined and, at times, can serve as helpful gateways for national officeholders to boost their own tech expertise. If anything, GOP leaders in recent years have taken great pains to forge new relationships in the Bay Area, hoping a message of low taxes and hands-off government might resonate with voters there.

But the Valley largely rebuked Republicans in the 2016 election because of Trump, who often targeted the tech industry’s darlings, like Apple and Amazon, on the campaign trail. Since winning the presidency, that opposition hasn’t subsided. The Bay Area’s politically active engineers have protested vigorously against Trump’s approach to issues like immigration, and many have called on their executives to do the same.

But Republicans still have allies in Silicon Valley — and they’ll seek their financial help at the Thursday fundraiser to be held at Ellison’s home in Woodside, Calif. Joining McConnell are the likes of Senators Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Steve Daines and John Thune, the leader of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees tech and telecom issues, according to the invite.

Republicans aren’t the only ones fundraising in the Bay Area this week, by the way. Senate Democrats’ chief, Sen. Chuck Schumer, also is in town with Sen. Ron Wyden, according to a source familiar with the event.

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