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White House hopeful raises $25M, cements top tier status

The fundraising success cements Mr Buttigieg's status as a top-tier candidate. Source: Getty Images North America

White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg, who if elected would be the first openly gay US president, raised $25 million in the second quarter, his campaign announced Monday, anchoring him firmly in the top tier of Democratic contenders.

Virtually unknown at the beginning of the year, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who at 37 is the youngest of the two dozen Democrats in the 2020 race, saw his campaign rocked by the fatal police shooting of a black man in his city last month.

But if the incident put a dent in Buttigieg's fundraising, it was hardly noticeable in the final figures, with the candidate hauling in $24.8 million between April and June from more than 294,000 donors across the United States, according to his campaign.

The announcement follows a strong performance by Buttigieg in last week's Democratic presidential debate, and an impressive first quarter which saw $7 million pour into the campaign's coffers.

In a sign he was satisfied with his latest numbers, Buttigieg was the first Democratic candidate to release his quarterly fundraising, which all candidates will do between now and mid-July. The amount represents an average of $47.42 per donor. 

Buttigieg is polling fifth in a crowded Democratic field, with an average of 6.5 percent of the vote.

Buttigieg was the first of the Democratic candidates to announce fundraising numbers for this period.
Buttigieg was the first of the Democratic candidates to announce fundraising numbers for this period.
Getty Images North America

A military veteran who served in Afghanistan and speaks several languages, "Mayor Pete" has seen a meteoric rise since making his presidential intentions known in late January, when most Americans neither knew who he was or how to pronounce his name. (It's "BOOT-edge-edge," he says.) 

He officially launched his campaign on April 14 in South Bend, with his husband, Chasten, joining him onstage.

On the Democratic debate stage, Buttigieg solemnly took responsibility for the death of Eric Logan, who was shot dead by a white South Bend police officer, while lamenting "the shadow of systemic racism" in US policing.

Buttigieg's polling fell slightly from seven percent on June 23 to six percent, according to the first post-debate poll carried out June 27-28 by Politico/Morning Consult, which surveyed 2,407 voters.

Senator Kamala Harris, a former California attorney general and the only black woman in the race, carried off one of the Democratic debate's most striking performances, pinning down frontrunner Joe Biden over his track record on civil rights.

She climbed from six to 12 percent in the same poll, while Biden fell from 38 to 33 percent.

Iowa will be the first state to vote in the Democratic White House primaries, which kick off in February 2020.

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