Sen. Bernie Sanders raised $18.2 million for his presidential campaign during the first quarter of the year, a sizable sum that establishes him as an early pacesetter in the money chase underway in the Democratic primary.
Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said the total came from 525,000 donors and 900,000 individual donations. Sanders, I-Vt., launched his campaign Feb. 19.
The number of individual donations fell short of the campaign’s established goal of 1 million.
“It was important for us to set an ambitious goal,” Shakir said.
The senator ended the first quarter with $28 million in his campaign account, according to Shakir. As a senator, Sanders is eligible to transfer money from his Senate campaign account.
Many close observers expected Sanders to report a hefty first quarter sum. He turned heads when he announced raising about $6 million in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, surprising some Democrats who were uncertain whether his loyal coalition of small-dollar donors would renew its support for him during his second run for president.
Only Beto O’Rourke, who raised about $6.1 million, pulled in more than Sanders on his first day. O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman who entered the campaign late in the quarter, has yet to release his total for the period.
Sanders is the third candidate in the Democratic primary to release his first-quarter numbers, which must be reported to the Federal Election Commission by April 15.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris, D-Calif., who announced her candidacy Jan. 21, raised $12 million in the first quarter, she announced Monday. Mayor Pete Buttigieg from South Bend, Indiana, reported $7 million.
The Vermont senator plans to return to Iowa on Friday, making his second trip as a 2020 candidate to the first-in-the-nation caucus state, where his close second-place finish to Hillary Clinton in 2016 helped launch his stronger-than-expected bid for the Democratic nomination that year.
Shakir said the campaign has hired about 100 staffers, a majority of whom are women. Forty percent of the campaign’s aides are people of color, Shakir said.
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