EXCLUSIVE: As other Democratic candidates race to qualify for the next debates less than a month away, one candidate who definitely is in, donor favorite Mayor Pete Buttigieg, will be making another Hollywood fundraising swing, as will Sen. Kamala Harris.
The mayor of South Bend, IN, is scheduled to headline a reception on August 27 at the home of attorney Steve Warren and Johnnie Ingram, with co-hosts including HBO’s Casey Bloys and his husband, attorney Alonzo Wickers, and public affairs strategist Greg Propper and his husband, communications and publicity coordinator Michael Torbiak.
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Tickets to the event start at $1,500 per person, according to an invite.
Also planned is an event later in the evening, with tickets starting at $25 per person, and a luncheon fundraiser the next day, a source said. Details still are being finalized.
Buttigieg, unknown to many in the industry at the start of the year, ended up raising more money from showbiz sources than any other Democratic candidate in the second quarter, with a list of celebrity donors that include Ellen DeGeneres, Sean Hayes, Jennifer Aniston and David Geffen. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he raised $485,372 from showbiz sources, compared to $249,927 going to Harris, Califormia’s junior senator and a Tinseltown regular.
The senator is doing her own round of fundraising next week too.
Harris’ plans include an August 20 event co-hosted by screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Raines Feldman attorneys Miles Feldman, Jonathan Littrell, Dana Newman, Robert Pardo and Andrew Harris Raines. Later, she’ll headline a reception hosted by producer Jesse Collins. Tickets to both events start at $1,000 per person.
Taking a beat, California’s former attorney general also has two more events scheduled for August 22. There’s a Culver City reception hosted by Bridgid Coulter, the CEO of Blackbird Collective, and another reception hosted by MGM Motion Picture Group President Jon Glickman and writer-director Christy Callahan, RIAA’s Joel Flatow, Michael and Lydia Kives, producer Sue Kroll and attorney Julia Sorkin.
Former Vice-President Joe Biden, who has so far made two deep pocketed fundraising swings through Los Angeles since launching his campaign in April, is expected for another visit toward the end of September, according to a source.
Biden, Harris and Buttigieg are among the nine candidates who have qualified so far for the next Democratic debates in Houston on September 12 and 13, with ABC News and Univision hosting. The Democratic National Committee has tightened significantly the requirements to get on the debate stage this time around, making it likely that the field will be pared down. That’s much to the relief of producers, who face the task of trying to make the event fit into the span of two hours or less.
Broadly speaking, candidates who want to make the cut must have received donations from at least 130,000 individuals and hit at least 2% in four qualifying polls released between June 28 and August 28 — and there’s a long list of contenders who are struggling to meet those thresholds by that deadline.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper officially quit the presidential race today and says he might run for Senate instead.