Emhoff to join Harrison for new chair’s first DNC fundraiser

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Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison is hosting his first virtual fundraiser as the party’s leader next month, featuring second gentleman Doug Emhoff and two former presidential candidates.

Harrison — who broke Senate fundraising records last year during his unsuccessful race against Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) — will host the virtual event on March 3, featuring Sens. Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar alongside Emhoff, according to an invitation obtained first by POLITICO.

Ticket prices for the event range from $36,500 for hosts to $100 for young professionals and seniors. Host-level status includes a private virtual reception with Harrison and membership in the presidential partner level of the DNC’s national finance committee.

The DNC closed out the 2020 election cycle with about $75 million in the bank — an enormous sum for a once-beleaguered committee that was nearly broke at the end of the previous presidential election. That total nearly kept pace with the Republican National Committee, which had more than $80 million banked at the end of 2020.

Throughout the Trump presidency, the DNC grew its small-dollar, online fundraising program, fueled by the anti-Trump fervor among donors that delivered record-breaking fundraising totals for Democrats up and down the ballot. In 2020, the committee received money from nearly 2 million individual donors, half of whom were new donors, while increasing its number of online contributors by 740 percent over 2016.

Virtual fundraisers became a staple of the 2020 election after the coronavirus pandemic brought in-person events to a halt. Cocktail hours and galas with high-dollar donors transitioned to Zoom meeting rooms, where both parties were still able to rake in huge sums of cash. In one week during the campaign last April, President Joe Biden participated in at least four virtual, high-dollar fundraisers with the lowest ticket price going for $1,000.

Harrison, a former South Carolina Democratic Party chair, is likely to keep up the steady money-raising pace after his own significant fundraising success. He took over the DNC in mid-January with Biden’s support. The committee announced a slate of communications hires this week, in addition to jump-starting its fundraising efforts.

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