The Allen County Republican Party's yearly Reagan Bean Dinner sold out of tickets more than two weeks in advance of the event.
Party Chairman Steve Shine announced Monday that 530-plus seats were reserved for the Nov. 1 fundraising dinner, which will feature South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. The event will be at Ramada Plaza Fort Wayne Hotel & Conference Center.
"We never have been sold out for any event with this much time in advance of the speaker's appearance. It's pretty impressive," Shine said in a telephone interview.
Graham, 63, has raised his national profile in recent years, first as a rival and harsh critic of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, later as an ardent Trump supporter and recently for his angry outburst while the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Graham told Democratic senators that their questions for Kavanaugh were "the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics, and if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you have done to this guy." Graham told the nominee: "You’re looking for a fair process. You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend."
In a news release announcing the Reagan Bean Dinner sell-out, Shine said Graham's support for Trump and Kavanaugh has "catapulted him to a preeminent position" among Republican officials trying to energize voters ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
"No doubt, Republicans from Allen County and Northeast Indiana want 'red meat' served with their red beans and with Senator Graham's firebrand delivery, no one will be disappointed," Shine said.