[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/30/art.obama.0930.gi.jpg caption="Obama to help DGA rake in half million bucks."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama wears the fundraiser-in-chief hat Thursday, as he headlines an event for the Democratic Governors Association.
The fundraiser at the St. Regis hotel in Washington is expected to rake in around a half a million dollars, according to a source at the DGA.
The event will be Obama's first for the DGA since his inauguration. Because the president refuses contributions from political action committees and registered lobbyists, those donations will not be accepted for the event.
Thirty-nine states will hold contests for governor between now and November 2010. Democrats will be defending 21 of those seats, starting with elections in five weeks in New Jersey and Virginia. While the campaigns in both of those states concentrate on local issues and the candidates themselves, they're also partially viewed as an early referendum on the Obama presidency. Obama has traveled to both states to campaign personally with the candidates, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Creigh Deeds, a state senator from Virginia.
The DGA raised a record-breaking $11.6 million in the first half of the year. But their GOP counterpart, the Republican Governors Association, outraised them by around $600,000 during that same time period.