Buttigieg continues making inroads with the American electorate

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Pete Buttigieg, a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the Presidential election in 2020, continues to ramp up support amongst the American electorate.

The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, the fourth-largest city in Indiana in the last days attended nearly a dozen high-rolling fundraisers that Buttigieg in Los Angeles, San Diego and finally San Francisco, where he is collecting money Friday from Silicon Valley execs at a trio of fundraisers — including one hosted by Michelle Sandberg, sister of Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, and her venture capitalist husband Marc Bodnick.

Buttigieg – his father Joseph, a Maltese university academic, emigrated in the 1970s and passed away in January – is making inroads with the same coalition of West Coast Democratic donors who provided critical fuel to Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and Hillary Clinton’s eight years later: The Hollywood glitterati, tech entrepreneurs and major LGBT donors.

The early success in attracting attention from bold-name donors in the party has intensified Buttigieg’s contest with his competitors – particularly Joe Biden, who was also collecting massive sums this week from Hollywood types, and Kamala Harris, the California senator and former state attorney general whose ties to the state and its donor base run deep.

For Buttigieg, the support from well-heeled donors also follows newfound interest from pop culture icons like Oprah Winfrey whose support for Obama helped raise his national profile in 2008, particularly among Americans who pay less attention to the daily political horse race. Winfrey hasn’t endorsed a candidate this year but said recently that she had encouraged director Steven Spielberg to take a look at Buttigieg.

His ascent has created an unexpected conflict for LGBT donors who have long felt loyalty toward more veteran Democratic politicians like Biden who supported same-sex marriage and other gay rights issues when it was far less popular to do so. Donors who had expected to back Biden, Elizabeth Warren or Kirsten Gillibrand now face the question of whether to miss out on taking part in support a history-making candidate.

Via NBC News

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