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Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy to visit Birmingham

One night before the Dec. 6 GOP presidential primary debate in Tuscaloosa, presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who’s expected to participate in the debate, will visit Birmingham for a Republican fundraising event.

Hosted by the Alabama Republican Party, the event will be held Dec. 5 at the Ross Bridge Hotel, with admission costs ranging from $100 for individual tickets, to $5,000 for a full table and photo opportunity with Ramaswamy.

Funds raised at the event will go toward the ALGOP.

The youngest presidential contender in the race at 38, Ramaswamy is the founder of the pharmaceutical company Roivant Sciences and former hedge fund investor at QVT Financial whose net worth is estimated to be nearly $1 billion. Ramaswamy is also a published author, perhaps best known for his 2021 book Woke Inc that lambasts what he described as the “modern woke-industrial complex.”

Ramaswamy has largely campaigned on downsizing a number of federal agencies such a the federal education and commerce departments, while further differentiating himself from his Republican opponents with his stances on drug and foreign policy, proclaiming himself to be against the war on drugs, as well as being more critical of the United States’ military involvement overseas.

“I am pleased to have Vivek Ramaswamy joining us as we kick-off debate week here in Alabama,” Alabama GOP Chairman John Wahl said.

“His is a historic occasion for our state as we hold our first ever nationally televised presidential debate, and I am appreciative that one of our party’s rising political figures will be headlining this reception for the Alabama Republican Party. I look forward to giving the people Alabama the chance to meet Mr. Ramaswamy and showcasing our amazing state to another presidential candidate,”

While former President Donald Trump has continued to hold a firm grip among Republicans in the 2024 presidential race, polling at nearly 60% as of Tuesday according to the polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight, Ramaswamy has remained among the top three Trump-alternative Republican presidential candidates. As of earlier this week, Ramaswamy sits at just over 5% favorability among Republicans, lagging behind the next-two highest polling candidates Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis at 10% and 12.9%, respectively.

The candidates participating in the fourth Republican presidential primary debate have yet to be announced, though it’s expected that Ramaswamy, as well as Haley, DeSantis, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make the cut. To qualify for the debate, candidates must have at least 80,000 unique donors, sign pledges to support the eventual Republican nominee, and have reached at least 6% in two national polls.

As he has in the previous three Republican presidential primary debates, Trump is again not expected to participate, and has called on the debates to be canceled on the grounds that the RNC should instead “refocus its manpower” on defeating President Joe Biden.

“Alabama is one of the strongest Republican states in the nation, and I am proud we have this opportunity to host all of our presidential candidates at the upcoming debate in Tuscaloosa,” Wahl said. “Raising Alabama’s political profile is one of my top priorities as ALGOP Chairman, and I am excited this debate will continue the work the Party has been doing in this area,”

Alabama voters will select their preferred presidential nominees on March 5 during the presidential primaries.

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