While he's still in the exploratory phase of his 2020 campaign, South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced on Monday that initial reports showed his campaign raised over $7 million since launching his exploratory committee in January. Buttigieg is the first of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to reveal his fundraising total since the first quarter ended Sunday night.
Later Monday, Buttigieg's campaign said that 64 percent of his total donations came from contributions of $200 or less.
Buttigieg's husband Chasten, who has become a breakout Twitter sensation of the 2020 race, tweeted his thanks to donors, writing "Thank you friends, we're just getting stared." The small-town mayor acknowledged that while other candidates in the field may have outraised him this quarter, his number is a big deal for the "underdog project."
"We are not part of the national political machine. We started with just about 20,000 people on our email list, and not many people even knew who I was. But as more and more people around the country begin to hear our bold vision for the future, more and more people are investing in this effort," Buttigieg said in a statement on Monday.
"With a first fundraising report like this, we certainly cannot be ignored," he added.
The South Bend mayor and Afghanistan veteran says that he's got "more experience in government that the president of the United States." The 37-year-oldthat while he might be the youngest person in the race so far, it's his unconventional background that makes him the best candidate.
"I've got more years of executive experience than the vice president and I have more military experience than anybody who's arrived behind that desk since George H.W. Bush. I get that it's not a conventional background, but I don't think that it's time for conventional backgrounds in Washington right now," the mayor said.
Buttigieg previously ran unsuccessfully in 2017 to lead the Democratic National Committee. While the last time a sitting mayor was nominated for president to a major political party was in 1812, his role in local politics, according to Buttigieg, gives him the "instinct to do the job."
The first quarter ended Sunday at midnight, and candidates have until April 15 to file their first quarter reports, but may, like Buttigieg, announce their totals -- as well as who supported them -- over the next several days.