- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated to party donors that he's looking to open his formidable fundraising network to Joe Biden, according to people who have spoken with him recently.
- It could be a game changer for Biden, who launched his candidacy for president on Thursday.
- Cuomo, a Democrat, had already endorsed Biden for the White House.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has raised millions of dollars during his campaigns over the years, has indicated to associates in recent days that he will be opening his vast and powerful fundraising network exclusively to Joe Biden, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Biden officially launched his campaign Thursday, after months of speculation.
"Andrew is all in for Joe. He is pushing his entire network that way – political and funding," said a person who has spoken to Cuomo recently. This person declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the conversations.
A top party donor who has spoken to Cuomo advisors told CNBC, "Biden is going to have a formidable fundraising operation through, in part, Cuomo."
Cuomo's support could be a game changer for Biden. While the former vice president has consistently led Democratic primary polls, he has been aggressively courting donors in a bid to catch up to an already crowded primary field that has a head start in the fundraising game. New York State Board of Elections data show Cuomo has raked in $100 million in campaign contributions since he first ran for governor in 2010. At least 80 percent of his backers have given him $10,000 or more, records show.
Cuomo's wealthy donor network spans the country and the business world. Past donors include movie mogul Steven Spielberg, Walmart heiress Alice Walton and hedge fund titan Steve Cohen. Cuomo also has received support from companies such as Cablevision, real estate giant the Durst Organization and Canadian real estate firm Brookfield Asset Management.
A Cuomo representative and Biden's campaign both declined to comment.
"I think he [Biden] has the best chance of defeating President Trump, which I think is the main goal here," Cuomo said earlier this week.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is also helping Biden and was slated to host a fundraising event for the former vice president Thursday in Philadelphia.
Biden's rivals in the Democratic primary already have a quarter of fundraising in the books. Sen. Bernie Sanders led the way with $18 million.
Some are amassing the support of party bundlers. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has at least two dozen Democratic fundraisers for his 2020 campaign, with many of his bundlers formerly being supporters of former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, CNBC first reported. Sen. Kamala Harris reportedly has more than 100 bundlers backing her campaign for president.
The Democratic field has a lot of ground to make up compared with President Donald Trump, however. Trump's campaign hauled in $30 million during the first quarter.
Trump welcomed Biden to the race Thursday with a snarky tweet that insulted the former vice president's intelligence and mocked him as "Sleepy Joe."