Pete Buttigieg to attend LGBTQ Victory Fund fundraiser before ‘historical announcement’

Democratic presidential candidate and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg speaks to a crowd at the African American Leadership Council on June 6, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Dustin Chambers/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Democrat Pete Buttigieg is following up his first presidential debate with a fundraiser in New York with a group that has contributed millions of dollars to openly LGBT candidates and says it’s planning “a historic special announcement.”

LGBTQ Victory Fund President Annise Parker said she will join Buttigieg to make the announcement at a World Pride campaign event in Brooklyn on Friday.

Parker said earlier this year the organization expected to endorse the gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, saying the board that decides endorsements was “champing at the bit” to support him. A Victory Fund endorsement would mean immediate financial support from the group, which invested $2 million in candidates in 2018. The organization also would appeal to its donor network to directly support Buttigieg’s campaign and promote his events.

Friday’s event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn, an underground gay bar. The raid sparked a rebellion that led to the modern LGBTQ movement.

Buttigieg, who officially joined the 2020 presidential race in April, has some ground to make up ahead of the Sunday deadline for fundraising for the crucial second quarter, a number that will be scrutinized for all candidates as a sign of their campaign’s strength.

He chose to leave the campaign trail earlier this month to return home and deal with the fatal shooting of a black man by a white South Bend police officer. He had to cancel several high-dollar fundraising events in California and a separate New York fundraising trip. He also canceled fundraisers scheduled for this weekend in New York, choosing to return to South Bend on Friday night.

Buttigieg raised $7 million in the first quarter , a number that topped many of his rivals and helped secure his spot in the top tier of the crowded 2020 field.

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