Democratic presidential hopeful Buttigieg raises nearly $25 million in second quarter

(Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg raised $24.8 million from nearly 300,000 donors in the second quarter this year, his campaign said on Monday, putting him in the top tier among the more than 20 Democrats running for the White House.

The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has more than doubled the number of individuals funding his bid for the presidency, his campaign said.

In a statement, Buttigieg’s campaign said more than 294,000 people donated between April and June, including 230,000 new donors. Overall, donors have given an average contribution of $47.42 since Buttigieg, who had no national profile, launched his bid.

The campaign also has more than $22.6 million cash on hand, ensuring Buttigieg will have plenty of funds to compete in the coming months with other candidates expected to raise large sums, like former Vice President Joe Biden.

“This fundraising report shows that Pete’s message is resonating with Americans, and it’s proof that we are building an organization that can compete,” Buttigieg’s campaign manager, Mike Schmuhl, said in an email to supporters.

Sunday was the Federal Election Commission’s quarterly deadline for reporting fundraising totals. Campaigns are required to submit filings by July 15, though some candidates are likely to follow Buttigieg’s lead and announce figures in the days to come.

Buttigieg’s haul was triple the amount he raised during the first quarter of 2019. At that time, he ranked fourth among Democrats, behind U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas.

The Democratic Party held its first debate last week featuring 20 of the candidates seeking the party’s nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

Buttigieg, known as Mayor Pete, is a military veteran who served in Afghanistan and is the nation’s first major openly gay presidential candidate. In recent weeks, he has faced challenges after a fatal police shooting in his Indiana city.

The incident exposed simmering racial tensions back home and has threatened to complicate his presidential bid, pulling him off the campaign trail. He addressed the issue at last week’s debate.

Reporting by Joseph Ax and Susan Heavey; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jonathan Oatis