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Fundraiser for Sen. Hawley at Orlando hotel canceled after outcry

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley was the first senator to announce he would object to the Electoral College count on baseless claims of voter fraud.
Credit: Senate Television via AP File
In this Jan. 6, 2021 file image from video, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Loews Hotels announced it will not host a scheduled fundraiser at its Portofino Bay property for Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who was seen raising a fist to Trump supporters before the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

The fundraiser, first reported by the Orlando Sentinel, was listed by a Hawley-affiliated political committee, Fighting for Missouri. 

"Please join U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley for a fun-filled-family-friendly Orlando weekend event" on Feb. 12 to 15, according to a flier obtained by attorney Daniel Uhlfelder, the Sentinel reported.

The company Saturday afternoon said it informed the host that the event will not take place at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando "in light of" the events at the Capitol.

"We are horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions," Loews Hotels tweeted. "In light of those events and for the safety of our guests and team members, we have informed the host of the Feb. fundraiser that it will no longer be held at Loews Hotels."

The event cost $5,000 in contributions for a family, $3,000 for a couple and $1,000 for an individual, the Sentinel reported.

Uhlfelder, who dressed as the Grim Reaper last spring to criticize Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' handling of the coronavirus pandemic, tweeted at the hotel company Friday, asking: "Hey @Loews_Hotels. Why are you hosting weekend event for traitor @HawleyMO next month in Orlando, Florida"?

Lowes Hotels announced the canceling following the uproar on Twitter.

Loews Hotels' announcement is the latest in a parade of companies that announced they are suspending political contributions to Republican candidates who objected over electoral vote counts to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win.

Hawley was the first senator to say he would object to the Senate's certification of the Electoral College count based on baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election.

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