Kamala Harris raises over $1 million at Hamptons and Martha's Vineyard fundraisers

Key Points
  • Sen. Kamala Harris raised over $1 million through several campaign fundraisers in the wealthy enclaves of the Hamptons and Martha's Vineyard, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter
  • Harris attended multiple events last weekend in the affluent vacation spots, including five in the Hamptons. The massive haul comes after she suffered a quick decline in national polls. 
2020 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) arrives at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, August 10, 2019.
Brian Snyder | Reuters

Sen. Kamala Harris raised over $1 million through several campaign fundraisers in the wealthy enclaves of the Hamptons on Long Island and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter

Harris attended multiple events last weekend in the affluent vacation spots, including five in the Hamptons. The massive haul comes after she suffered a quick decline in national polls. The latest Real Clear Politics polling average putting her in fourth place after she had reached second. She's struggled to regain traction ever since her panned performance in the second Democratic debate in July.

One of the Hamptons events was hosted by public relations executive Michael Kempner. That gathering raised double than the campaign's original goal and had more than 150 people attend, according to those briefed on the matter. Tickets ranged from $1,000 to $2,800. While at the events, Harris picked up a few new wealthy supporters and they are expected to host other money-making events for her in New York next month.

Others in attendance at the Kempner fundraiser included Citigroup executive Ray McGuire and Brad Karp, the chairman of legal powerhouse, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Kempner bundled $100,000 for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and nearly $1 million in total for both of President Barack Obama's runs for the White House, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

A spokesperson for Harris did not return requests for comment.

Harris' campaign is going to have to keep fighting for campaign cash after trailing in the second quarter over other 2020 contenders such as former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. She raised $12 million last quarter while the front runner Biden raised just over $21.5 million.

Even while trailing in the fundraising race, Harris still has been finding ways to reel in donors from Wall Street. She, along with Biden and Buttigieg, saw donations from at least 15 executives from from the biggest banks. Goldman Sachs' Jennifer Scully-Lerner gave Harris $1,000 in late June. McGuire sent $2,800 to Harris that same month.

Prior to Harris' trip, President Donald Trump had his own round of Hamptons fundraisers during which he raised over $10 million. The president has been amassing a 2020 war chest ever since he entered the White House and has the clear financial advantage over his potential Democratic rivals because he doesn't have to compete in a primary.

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