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Pete Buttigieg ends the year by raking in nearly $25 million

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Pete Buttigieg raised more than $24.7 million the last quarter of 2019, according to a memo from campaign manager Mike Schmuhl released on Wednesday. The fourth quarter fundraising total caps off a strong fundraising year for the now-former South Bend mayor, who left office on January 1. 

Buttigieg's latest quarterly fundraising haul is an increase from the $19.2 million his campaign raised in the third quarter and nearly matches his second quarter fundraising total, when he raised nearly $25 million.

After the second quarter fundraising haul, Buttigieg's campaign rapidly expanded its ground operation and made advertising investments in Iowa and New Hampshire. Several polls recently have shown Buttigieg is a leading contender in those early voting states.

Over the course of the year, Buttigieg raised over $76 million. Schmuhl's memo also indicated that the over 733,000 donors have contributed to the campaign, totaling over 2 million donations.

"These figures are even more astounding considering that Pete started this race less than a year ago as an unknown candidate, with just a few staffers and zero dollars in the bank," Schmuhl wrote in the memo. "But what we did have was a shared vision of bringing a new kind of politics to Washington and changing the trajectory of our country."

Schmuhl said that the average contribution in the fourth quarter was roughly $33 and that the campaign had nearly 326,000 donors. From the $76 million raised over the course of the year, Schumhl said that 98 percent of the contributions were less than $200 and the average contribution was roughly $38. According to Schmuhl's memo, the campaign increased its staff to over 500 people nationwide and now has 65 field offices in the early voting states.

Buttigieg received increased criticism from his progressive rivals over his campaign's fundraising tactics in the fourth quarter, which ended Tuesday. Throughout the year, the former mayor has attended high-dollar fundraisers. Meanwhile, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have made a point of avoiding such fundraisers. 

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