Buttigieg leads Democrats in Georgia fundraising

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg led the Democratic presidential field in 2019 fundraising in Georgia with over $750,000 in donations, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Former Vice President Joe Biden came in second with $650,000, and Sens. Bernie Sanders ($475,000) and Kamala Harris ($460,000) followed, according to GPB. President Trump raised over $3 million in Georgia in 2019.

The Georgia support for Buttigieg — the only openly LGBTQ candidate in the field — goes beyond fundraising, a campaign spokesperson told Project Q Atlanta. 

“We also have volunteers in every congressional district in the state of Georgia, including those that lean more conservative,” they said. “We're building a broad coalition of grassroots support in the state and have talked about issues that matter to Georgians in his visits from voting rights to college affordability.”

“It's clear that Georgians are attracted to Pete's message and the sense of belonging that we have created and will continue to create in our general election campaign and in the White House,” they added.

The fundraising news comes as Georgia’s presidential primary approaches on March 24.

Buttigieg attended three fundraisers in Atlanta in June, including one with several LGBTQ Atlanta hosts that garnered over $100,000. He also spoke at the African-American Leadership Council Summit.

Buttigieg returned in August for a fundraiser at HGTV star Vern Yip’s house in Brookwood Hills. Ticket prices ranged from $500 to $2,800. He also spoke at a forum with African-American church leaders and thousands of black millennials.

Buttigieg was back in Atlanta again in November for the Democratic presidential debate at Tyler Perry Studios. He attended two fundraisers with ticket prices ranging from $500 to $2,800. He also attended the National Action Network’s Southeast Regional Conference and an event at Morehouse College.

State Reps. Karla Drenner and Matthew Wilson — two of the five openly LGBTQ members of the legislature — support Buttigieg in the Democratic presidential primary. Wilson hosted one of the June fundraisers for him and hosted a debate watch party in East Point.

The pastor of an Atlanta megachurch said in November that the U.S. isn’t ready for a gay president.

UPDATE | Wilson followed up with reaction to Buttigieg's fundraising totals after this story was published, saying he was "very excited" to see him do so well. 

"There are lots of people like me who believe we need generational change in our next president in order to fix what is wrong in Washington," Wilson said. "Pete is such a breath of fresh air, and his executive experience, military service, and campaign of belonging make him the perfect leader to tackle the greatest challenges we’ve seen in generations."