Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner is hosting a "cocktail reception" for members of the Republican National Committee as they arrive in the Washington area Wednesday for their annual Winter Meeting.
According to a copy of the invitation obtained by CNN, the reception is sponsored by Boehner's political action committee and is slated to begin at 7 p.m. ET at the Maryland resort complex where RNC members are huddling ahead of Friday's chairmanship election.
Though Boehner is quietly backing former Bush administration official Maria Cino in the RNC race and has made phone calls to some committee members on her behalf, Wednesday's reception is not billed as a rally for Cino but rather a chance for the Speaker to toast RNC delegates in his new capacity as House leader.
The Boehner reception was first reported by Politico.
Cino is one of four candidates hoping to unseat Chairman Michael Steele on Friday. The others are Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, Michigan National Committeeman Saul Anuzis and former Missouri GOP Chairwoman Ann Wagner.
UPDATE: CNN's Dana Bash reports that Boehner will not be at the reception during President Obama's address in Tucson.
"Speaker Boehner will attend an organizational meeting with RNC members this evening, but will leave before the president’s speech begins," said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for Boehner's political team.