The brunch reportedly cost $25,000 a person. Inside the Harris Estate, guests dined on filet mignon and spent about an hour and a half with the presidential hopeful.
The former Massachusetts governor arrived via motorcade and waved to reporters through tinted glass. The fundraiser came just one day after Romney officially clinched the Republican nomination. "I'm glad we got one candidate so we're not sitting there tearing each other up. Now we need to get on down the road and elect a president," said Henry Anderson of Visalia.
Like the event's host, many in attendance were tied to the ag industry. Still, we're told conversation with Romney centered on the economy. "I think it's important for our nation. We're at a turning point here for how the economy is going to be and the future of our nation," said Russell Harris of Fresno.
Even though the gathering was on private property, security was tight. Secret Service agents and dogs could be seen on the estate and a boat patrolled the nearby Kings River. Romney arrived promptly at 11:00 a.m. and left just after 12:30 p.m. Still, that hour and a half was enough to make an impact on attendees. "I think he's a great candidate for the presidency. He's really smart if you can sit there with a small group today. He's highly intelligent. I was really impressed," said Russell Harris.
While Wednesday's event may have been small, it could have quite an impact on the campaign. At $25,000 a plate, it could break records for fundraising in the Valley.