Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. speaks at a gathering introducing the Medicare for All Act of 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Sen. Gillibrand raises $3M in first quarter for 2020 race

April 14, 2019 - 12:43 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand said Sunday that her campaign has raised more than $3 million in the first quarter.

Nearly two-thirds of contributors to Gillibrand's campaign are women, communications director Meredith Kelly said. Advocacy for women and victims of assault and harassment have been early themes of the New York senator's campaign.

Kelly said 92% of donations to Gillibrand's campaign were under $200 and that the average online donation was $25. The campaign now has about $10.2 million cash in hand, Kelly said.

Gillibrand's fundraising tally trailed other Democratic contenders who have voluntarily disclosed their totals. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised more than $18 million; California Sen. Kamala Harris was at $12 million. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has raised $6 million, and New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker has raised $5 million.

Aides to Gillibrand's campaign view her candidacy in two distinct phases. The first "exploratory" phase began in January when Gillibrand revealed that she was considering a presidential run on during an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She then quickly made her first trip to the leadoff caucus state of Iowa and held 60 events across eight states.

The second phase began with the formal launch of her campaign on March 17. Since then, her campaign says she doubled her total number of donors, though the campaign did not disclose the total number of donors or donations to her campaign.

In a memo to supporters obtained by The Associated Press, Gillibrand's campaign also says that she received a fundraising boost from her recent appearance at a CNN town hall. In that memo, Gillibrand's campaign says that of donations to the campaign made within 48 hours of the April 9 town hall, 63% were new contributors.

In the same memo, her campaign said that though they see her on strong financial footing, her decision to call on former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to step down over allegations of sexual misconduct has adversely impacted her campaign.

In the memo, the campaign said there was "no question that the first quarter was adversely impacted by certain establishment donors - and many online - who continue to punish Kirsten for standing up for her values and for women."

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