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GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney swung through downtown Sacramento today for a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser luncheon at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

"It's good to be back in California," the former Massachusetts governor said as he greeted supporters gathered in the hotel lobby.

Former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who is serving as an advisor and finance chair for Romney's campaign, mingled in the hotel lobby with lawmakers and supporters ahead of the noon event.

"I didn't know you were going to be out here in the hall welcoming everyone, this is wonderful," Romney said to her on his way into a VIP reception held ahead of the lunch.

"I'm not in the VIP suite," Whitman replied with a laugh.

A handful of GOP state legislators were on hand to hobnob at the reception and lunch, including Senate GOP leader Bob Dutton, Sens. Bob Huff, Sam Blakeslee, Tony Strickland and Mark Wyland and Assembly members Paul Cook and Jim Silva.

Romney largely ignored questions from a reporter - an aide said he would not comment to the press because it was a "private event" - but did give a brief response when asked about former U.S. ambassador to China and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman announcing that he will enter the GOP presidential primary fray.

"The more the merrier," he said as he walked into the banquet hall.

Romney, who has a house in San Diego, is scheduled to fuel his campaign coffers with events in the Bay Area, Beverly Hills and Orange County this week. He has not announced any public events in the Golden State.


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