Michelle Obama to visit downtown Naples next week for fundraiser

First lady Michelle Obama (AP Photo/The Shreveport Times, Henrietta Wildsmith)

Photo by Henrietta Wildsmith

First lady Michelle Obama (AP Photo/The Shreveport Times, Henrietta Wildsmith)

Michelle Obama will be soaking up some rays — and collecting some cash for her husband's re-election campaign — in Naples next week.

The first lady will attend an April 27 fundraiser at the Inn on Fifth, 699 Fifth Ave. S., said hotel owner Phil McCabe. The private event is scheduled for that afternoon and McCabe said it will be similar to the trip presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney made Sunday to Naples.

McCabe said "this is probably the most serious dignitary" to come to the hotel for an event.

"It's significant," he said.

McCabe supported President Barack Obama in the 2008 election, and said he "may very well support" the Democrat in his 2012 reelection bid. But McCabe said he didn't think the hotel was selected because of his previous support.

The Obama campaign has been bringing in the cash.

He raised a combined $53 million for his campaign, the Democratic Party and other campaign funds in March, his campaign said Monday.

Obama has collected nearly $350 million since the start of the campaign last year, representing a boost in campaign cash compared with recent months. He has raised about $127 million for his campaign, the Democratic National Committee and other campaign funds since the beginning of 2012.

Obama has entered a new phase in which he faces a direct challenge from Romney, who has begun raising money jointly with the Republican National Committee to overcome the president's fundraising edge. The RNC raised $13.7 million in March, its best month of the election cycle and has $32.7 million in cash.

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