Eric Mindich, a former hedge fund executive who helped raise money for former President Barack Obama's White House campaigns, has told friends he plans to help former Vice President Joe Biden raise cash for the 2020 presidential election, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mindich's support would be a boost for Biden, who has yet to announce whether he is running and would face a crowded group of rivals in the Democratic primary race. In conversations with a few donors, Biden has been told they aren't yet convinced he can overtake the younger, more diverse and progressive field, and that they are going to wait to see how he competes in the race.
Mindich, a 15-year Goldman Sachs veteran who closed his $7 billion hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management two years ago, was a key player in Obama's presidential runs. Working as a bundler — a fundraiser who coaxes high-dollar donors to back a specific candidate — Mindich raised up to $100,000 for Obama in 2008 and 2012, data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics show.
A spokesman for Biden declined to comment. Mindich did not return repeated emails seeking comment.
All signs point to Biden getting ready to jump into the race. During a recent event in Washington, the former Delaware senator seemed to suggest that he's looking to compete in the primary. Biden has also been seen with a film crew in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Politico reported that his supporters are working on a Spanish language ad in South Florida.
CNBC has previously reported that Biden told advisors he wants to announce his 2020 campaign the week of Easter. The holiday is Sunday.
But he has some ground to make up. Bernie Sanders, who has been trailing Biden in polls of Democratic primary voters, racked up $18 million in the first quarter. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, raised $30 million in the same period.
Some Democratic bundlers are already committing to Biden's potential opponents.
Orin Kramer, another hedge fund executive and a prior Obama supporter, has committed to helping South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to people familiar with the matter.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke has brought on Louis Susman, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.K, to assist him. Sally Susman, a Pfizer executive who is Susman's daughter, recently held a fundraiser for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at her home in New York. The Susmans helped Obama raise hundreds of thousands of dollars during his campaigns for president.