Will Paul Ryan be talking to empty seats Thursday night?
That’s the suggestion of a Baltimore blogger who received an email from the Maryland Republican Party Chairwoman Diana Waterman on Monday, advertising “early bird prices” for tickets ($200) to see the former GOP vice presidential candidate speak.
But tickets to see the rising conservative star and pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson speak at the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee Lincoln Day Dinner on June 25 are already sold out. Those tickets ran from $100 to $3,000.
Ryan, of Wisconsin, will deliver the keynote address for the Maryland GOP’s annual Red, White and Blue dinner in Baltimore.
“I did some checking with my sources and heard that the MD GOP was getting ‘desperate’ to sell tickets to the [Thursday] event,” blogger Jeff Quinton wrote in his blog, quintonreport.com. “I had heard elected Republican delegates are contacting people pushing them to buy tables or tickets to the event. I even heard some people complaining about the pushiness of the efforts.”
The Washington Examiner contacted Maryland GOP spokesperson David Ferguson, who said that while tickets to see Ryan Thursday are still available, the venue will be mostly full.
“It’s 99.9 percent sold out,” Ferguson told The Examiner. “We sold 20 tickets the first day.”
Ferguson said the email about early bird tickets was not a desperate attempt to fill empty seats.
“It was more for an informative purpose,” Ferguson said “We just wanted to make sure we sold every single seat.”
Ferguson said the turnout is “on target to meet our goals,” especially considering it follows the disappointing November election.
Update from Ferguson: ”We just extended our early bird special to maximize the 5% calculated overage that is generally standard operating procedure for events at large venues.”