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'Mayor Pete' Continues To Lead In Campaign Fundraising In Connecticut

Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a town hall meeting for his presidential campaign on the front lawn of Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa.
Phil Roeder (Flickr)
Creative Commons
Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a town hall meeting for his presidential campaign on the front lawn of Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa.

Pete Buttigieg continues to raise more money in Connecticut than any other presidential candidate, according to the latest filings with the Federal Elections Commission.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., raised $247,181 in the third quarter of the year in Connecticut.

President Donald Trump followed closely, raising $246,325 from Connecticut supporters in that three-month period.

Nationally, the president’s re-election campaign raised about $41 million, a substantial increase over the previous quarter that was attributed, at least in part, to aggressive appeals launched after House Democrats initiated their impeachment inquiry of the president.

“The Democrats know they have no chance of winning in 2020, so now they are crying, ‘Impeachment!’,” said one fundraising appeal from Trump’s campaign on the day the inquiry was announced. “The Democrats thrive on silencing and intimidating his supporters, like YOU, Friend. They want to take YOUR VOTE away.”

But Connecticut donations to Democrats running for the White House, when combined, dwarfed Trump’s fundraising in the state.

Trump and some of the other Democrats running to unseat Trump reported higher numbers of individual donations than Buttigieg in Connecticut, but “Mayor Pete’s” donations tended to be larger, averaging about $195.

Randolph West, an Episcopal clergyman in Guilford, gave Buttigieg’s campaign $550 in the last quarter. He says he backs the mayor because of the candidate’s centrist positions and what he says is Buttigieg’s civility.

“I read Mayor Pete’s biography and watched his presentations on YouTube,” West said. “He seems to set a different standard for political discourse. He doesn’t get mad or make ad hominem remarks. He doesn’t even personally attack Trump.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s fundraising – and her support in national polls – surged in the last quarter. Her campaign raised nearly $24.7 million nationally. But she raised less money in Connecticut than former Vice President Joe Biden, whose political fundraising across the nation in the second quarter has slumped. Warren raised $140,089 in the state, while Biden raised $151,487.

Biden fundraising in Connecticut was given a boost because his wife, Jill Biden, held a fundraiser in New Canaan on Sept. 21 at a private residence that was attended by about 75 supporters, including Gov. Ned Lamont.

Lamont also plans to hold a fundraiser for Biden this weekend at the governor’s home in Greenwich. Tickets cost $2,800, the maximum individual donation allowed under federal election law.

California Sen. Kamala Harris has also personally tapped Connecticut donors, holding an event last month at the home of Dita Bhargava, a former Wall Street trader. Harris hoped to raise $110,000 at the event.

FEC records show Harris raised about $180,000 in Connecticut in the last quarter, more than Biden, Warren or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who raised just under $125,000.

One donor to Harris’ campaign was Mary Himes, wife of Rep. Jim Himes, D-5th District. Mary Himes donated $250.

While Sanders attracted less political cash than other candidates in Connecticut, he still has a powerful fundraising base of small donors and raised more money across the nation in the last quarter than any other Democratic candidate for the White House, about $28 million.

The money chase is expected to heat up as it gets closer to the first primaries and Americans pay more attention to the presidential contest.

The campaigns of both Buttigieg and Sanders reported significant fundraising boosts in the 24 hours after Tuesday evening’s Democratic presidential debate.

Mayor Pete’s senior adviser, Lis Smith, tweeted that his campaign received more than $1 million from “tens of thousands of donors” and saw more traffic to its website in the 24 hours after the debate than any other day.

During that debate, Buttigieg told former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rouke “I don’t need lessons from you on courage — political or personal,” during a discussion on gun control.

He also went head-to-head with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, over U.S. policy toward Syria, telling the congresswoman she was “dead wrong” to support U.S. troop withdrawals from that nation.

After the debate, Sanders’ first public appearance since he had a heart attack earlier in the month, the Vermont senator’s presidential campaign announced it had raised $620,000 from more than 40,000 contributions.

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