Dem Senate Candidates Flock to San Francisco for Fundraising

Maine's Sara Gideon charging $1,000 to co-host, $250 for supporters

Gideon, Peters, and Harrison
August 26, 2019

At least three Democratic candidates for Senate have scheduled or held San Francisco fundraisers in search of big-money campaign contributions.

Sara Gideon, the DSCC's choice to challenge Sen. Susan Collins (R.) in Maine, is holding an Aug. 27 fundraising reception at Manny's, a San Francisco restaurant described as "the most popular spot in California" for Democratic candidates.

A ticket for the reception requires a minimum $100 contribution as a "friend" of Gideon. A "supporter" constitutes a $250 contribution, with "sponsors" contributing $500 and "co-hosts" contributing $1,000.

Gideon's fundraiser also designates $2,800 and $5,600 max donation options through ActBlue, a Democratic fundraising service established to "empower small-dollar donors."

In an online post advertising the event, Manny's included a "reminder" that Susan Collins's vote "all but secured Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court."

Also fundraising in San Francisco is South Carolina Senate candidate Jaime Harrison and current Michigan senator Gary Peters (D.).

The two Democrats appeared Friday at events sponsored by the Bay Area Democrats, with the Peters fundraiser preceding Harrison's event. The Bay Area Democrats did not include suggested campaign contributions for those in attendance.

The two events did not appear to be popular, with few people showing interest on social media. The Facebook posting for Peters's event listed one person as interested, and Harrison's posting showed two people as interested.

While the Bay Area Democrats advertised the two events as public meet-and-greets, photos posted by the group highlighting a previous event with Peters show an intimate affair, with Peters addressing a small handful of attendees over wine.

Peters's fundraising efforts have been boosted by Democratic presidential candidates and fellow Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.).

Peters faces a 2020 challenge by Detroit businessman and combat veteran John James in what is considered a key battleground race, while Gideon and Harrison are tasked with unseating respective incumbents Collins and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.).

Gideon is currently facing an ethics complaint launched after a Washington Free Beacon report showed the candidate reimbursing herself for campaign contributions through a corporate-funded political action committee.