Pete Buttigieg raised a huge $24.7 million haul in the fourth quarter, campaign says

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Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg raised $24.7 million in the final quarter of 2019, according to an email his campaign sent out Wednesday morning.

Since entering the race in April, he’s raised $76 million, the email said, with 733,000 individual donors making up that sum. Buttigieg received his largest donor share in the fourth quarter alone, with 326,000 people contributing to the campaign.

In the third quarter, Buttigieg’s campaign brought in $19.1 million, and in the second quarter, a hefty $24.8 million.

Chris Meagher, the spokesperson for the campaign, said on Twitter that the average donation from the fourth-quarter contributions was $33.

“We are building a campaign that can not only compete and win the nomination, but can beat Donald Trump,” Meagher said.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, began the campaign as a longshot contender among Democratic heavyweights like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Since then, Buttigieg, 37, has made inroads with big-money donors. He and former Vice President Joe Biden are among the 2020 Democratic contenders who have received the support of top financiers across the country, as CNBC reported in June.

Buttigieg quickly rose to recognition, gaining traction in national polls and becoming known as one of the top contenders in the Democratic race. In the emailed announcement of the fourth-quarter funds, Campaign Manager Mike Schmuhl touted the haul, saying it’s an indication of Buttigieg’s strength in the race.

“We did not have the fundraising lists of a Washington politician or someone who had run for president before,” Schmuhl said. “We certainly did not have a candidate who had the personal wealth of a millionaire or billionaire.”

Schmuhl said in the email that in the fourth quarter, the campaign staff grew to 500 people nationwide. Since Buttigieg’s entrance in the race, the campaign has opened 65 field offices in early voting states and has more than 100 organizers in Iowa, he said.

Earlier this month, Buttigieg released the names of his campaign’s biggest financial supporters following a barrage of criticism from Warren and Democratic activists over the secrecy of his fundraisers. The list, which has a total of 113 bundlers who have raised at least $25,000 for his campaign, features Wall Street and Hollywood titans like Hamilton James, executive vice chairman of private-equity firm Blackstone; Orin Kramer, a hedge fund manager and big Democratic fundraiser; and New York socialite and philanthropist Agnes Gund.

Warren slammed Buttigieg at the Democratic debate in December for hosting a fundraiser inside a Napa Valley “wine cave,” which reportedly attracted about 150 to 200 supporters, some of whom spent $1,000 for a photo op with the candidate. Others reportedly spent $2,800 to “co-host a dinner” with him, according to pool reporter Mike DeWald.

After finishing the third quarter with $24.6 million, Warren’s campaign told supporters in an email on Friday that, so far, it has raised just over $17 million in the fourth quarter, a significant drop from her fundraising haul during the third quarter.

Sanders announced Monday that his campaign received contributions from nearly five million donors in the fourth quarter – far more than any other candidate, The New York Times reported. Based on his previous average donation of $18, Sanders could expect a windfall of about $26 million in the fourth quarter, according to the Times.

Andrew Yang’s campaign said on Monday it expects to raise more than $12.5 million in the fourth quarter, a sum that would help the entrepreneur remain competitive with the front-runners in the Democratic primary.

Still, the Democratic candidates’ fundraising to date pales in comparison with President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign war chest. In the third quarter alone, Trump’s 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee pulled in a total of $125 million, a haul that surpassed the $105 million second-quarter joint total and marks a new presidential fundraising record, according to the Associated Press.

—CNBC’s Brian Schwartz and Tucker Higgins contributed to this story.




2020-01-01 16:09:24

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