[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/16/art.mcdonnell.gi.jpg caption =" Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has become a key fundraiser for the GOP."]
Washington (CNN) - Potential presidential candidates like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney have grabbed headlines this year for handing out pivotal endorsements in key midterm races, but Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has quietly become one of the most sought after attractions on the GOP money circuit.
McDonnell is headlining a fundraiser at Altria headquarters in Richmond on Monday for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who faces a difficult re-election challenge from former Houston Mayor Bill White.
Next month, he'll team up with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling to raise cash for Marco Rubio, Florida's Republican candidate for Senate.
In all, aides to McDonnell say that by mid-September, McDonnell will have held 15 fundraising events for out-of-state candidates.
"The campaigns are coming to us," McDonnell's political adviser Phil Cox told CNN. "What the out-of-state candidates are seeing is, he ran a model campaign in a competitive state. He is providing an example for how Republicans can govern by balacing the budget though cutting spending and not raising taxes, which is in marked contrast to what's coming out of D.C."
Among those who have already tapped into McDonnell's fundraising muscle: gubernatorial candidates such as Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, Sam Brownback in Kansas, Brian Dubie in Vermont and Bob Ehrlich in Maryland.
Naturally, most of the requests are coming from Republicans hoping to become governor. There's one McDonnell fundraiser coming up in Cincinnati for John Kasich, the GOP's nominee in Ohio.
He's also slated to raise money for Republicans in targeted governor's races out West: Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval in Nevada.
But federal candidates like Rubio are also looking for help from the Virginia governor. McDonnell will travel to St. Louis in the coming weeks to raise money for Roy Blunt, and he'll host a Washington, D.C. event for California's Carly Fiorina in September.
Rubio adviser Todd Harris said out-of-state events like the McDonnell fundraiser have a long-term impact. Raising money with one of the party's newest stars, he said, is a way for candidates to tap into fresh sources of money and build their network of support.
"Donor lists go stale faster than old bread," Harris told CNN. "Gov. McDonnell's popularity and recent victory puts him in a perfect position to help us raise our profile with the Virginia donor community."