Pete Buttigieg will no longer accept campaign donations from registered lobbyists, an emerging campaign finance litmus test for the Democratic presidential candidates.
The South Bend, Ind., mayor announced that he will refund donations he has already received from lobbyists, totaling just over $30,000 from 39 contributors. The campaign also said it will not allow lobbyists to serve as bundlers, closing a potential loophole.
“Mayor Pete will not be influenced by special-interest money, and we understand that making this promise is an important part of that commitment,” Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg’s campaign manager, wrote in an email to supporters Friday afternoon. “Standing up for our collective values not only includes saying we believe that campaigns should not take money from lobbyists; it also means being aware of the loopholes that still allow special interests to impact the campaign.”
Buttigieg raised $7.1 million in the first quarter of 2019, most of which came from small donors who gave less than $200 each.