Looks like the Pete Buttigieg train is not halting any time soon. The Mayor of South Bend, Indiana and current presidential candidate has reportedly pulled in over $24.8 million from individual donors for the second quarter of 2019. In fact, over the first two quarters, “no other Deomocratic presidential candidate has married traditional high-dollar fundraising with online small donations as successfully,” according to the New York Times.
The numbers, according to the Times, are likely to outpace every other Democratic candidate except former vice president Joe Biden. And that’s important as the reality of a presidential campaign is that it’s incredibly expensive. The work that Buttigieg has done has warranted even recognition from a former financial director of Barack Obama.
“They’ve got a badass operation,” said Rufus Gifford, who worked with Obama during his re-election campaign. That said, there may be complications down the road with the high-dollar fundraising as money has come in from Silicon Valley, which could surface concerns about interest from big tech companies. With the ongoing concerns about privacy, censorship, and more from these companies, Buttigieg may have to answer for accepting these funds later.
Over the span of the campaign, the candidate has brought in money from more than 400,000 donors and has $22.6 million in cash on hand. These donors range from people giving as little as or less than $47, to Lucas Carroll who started a Facebook page that raised about $35,000 for the campaign and beyond.
“Mayor Pete is competing in the polls and in fundraising with the best-known names in American politics – placing him among the strongest contenders for the Democratic nomination,” Victory Fund spokesperson Elliot Imse told Washington Blade. In a surprising move, Victory Fund endorsed Buttigieg Friday. “LGBTQ donors helped fuel the early months of his candidacy, but his appeal now extends far beyond our community, as these latest fundraising numbers show. As more Americans hear his message on the campaign trail and from the debate stage, we believe this momentum will accelerate.”
According to a report, there’s even a documentary on the historic campaign in the works.
But it's not all roses for Buttigieg. On Friday, he was pressed about how his leadership currently and would in the future, square with how Black communities, and trans people of color are being treated in this country. Earlier in the week he was also heavily criticized for his response to the shooting death of a Black man in his hometown.