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Obama's first Long Island fundraising visit is set

President Barack Obama speaks at Northwestern University in

President Barack Obama speaks at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. Credit: Getty Images / Brendan Smialowski

WASHINGTON -- For the first time in his six years in office, President Barack Obama is coming to Long Island to do something besides debate.

Obama is scheduled to be at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee on Thursday on Long Island, the White House said, confirming a Sept. 17 announcement by Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs.

"I've been asking for a long time," said Jacobs, who is also a National Democratic Committeeman.

The fundraiser will be at the Garden City Hotel on Thursday. For a photo with Obama, the DNC will charge various prices, including a contribution of $5,000 for a photo with up to five people with the president.

Obama's only appearances on Long Island have been for the 2008 and 2012 presidential debates at Hofstra University.

The timing of his rare visit, just three weeks before the midterm elections, is raising questions about its potential impact on the two competitive House races on the Island.

The Democrats in those races -- Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and Rep. Tim Bishop -- said they will skip the event, which features a president with lagging poll numbers. Bishop gave no reason. Rice said she was busy.

But Jacobs said: "I'm not hearing from people who don't want to go. I'm hearing from people who do want to go."

The fundraiser will be held behind closed doors. "It's not a campaign appearance," Jacobs said.

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