Two of Washington's GOP donor dynasties this week are holding dueling fundraisers for the Republican presidential front-runners, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
Perry goes first. On Tuesday evening, auto dealership titans Mary and Mandell Ourisman will host Perry's "Washington Kickoff" where donations of up to $10,000 will be collected. The co-hosts at the event in the Ourisman's home include several lobbyists. [Photos: Republicans on the Campaign Trail]
Mary Ourisman has raised money for several candidates, including former President George W. Bush.
Romney's happens Thursday at the Bethesda, Md., Marriott Hotel. It is being sponsored by hotel executives J. Willard Marriott Jr. and Richard Marriott. The Montgomery County, Maryland, GOP has put up this link . That event will also collect donations up to $10,000. [Read: Cain's Win in Straw Poll Hurts Perry.]
The Marriotts are Mormons with strong ties to Romney and former President George W. Bush.
Amid all the GOP chatter that Perry may be in trouble for his recent debate flubs, several Republicans say that they will be looking at the crowds and donations at each of the events to gauge who Washington's conservative establishment will be cheering on in the primaries. [See who's in and who's out of the 2012 GOP race.]
"This really ought to tell us if Perry has been hurt and if Romney has the establishment's support or not," said one GOP donor invited to both events.
See the information here.