Pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls send cash to crit­i­cal 2020 states

The Modesto Bee (Sunday) - - News - BY ADAM WOLLNER AND BEN WIEDER awoll­ner@mc­clatchydc.com bwieder@mc­clatchydc.com Adam Wollner: 202-383- 6020, @AdamWoll­ner BenWieder: 202-383- 6125, @benb­wieder

The fi­nal votes of the 2018 midterms have yet to be cast, but sev­eral Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls have al­ready been spend­ing with the next cam­paign in mind.

The cam­paigns and com­mit­tees as­so­ci­ated with nearly two-dozen prospec­tive 2020 Demo­cratic con­tenders have col­lec­tively spent more than $1.3 mil­lion on con­tri­bu­tions, travel and voter lists in the four early- vot­ing states, ac­cord­ing to aMcClatchy review of fi­nan­cial records.

Os­ten­si­bly, much of that money has landed in the cof­fers of state and lo­cal par­ties and can­di­dates in Iowa, New Hamp­shire, Ne­vada and South Carolina to help their 2018 cam­paign ef­forts. But for am­bi­tious Democrats, it’s a crit­i­cal step in form­ing al­liances and friend­ships that could be use­ful to them in a pres­i­den­tial cam­paign that will be­gin in earnest af­ter Tues­day’s elec­tions.

“Peo­ple know who helps in them in pre­vi­ous elec- tions and who doesn’t,” said Gene Martin, the chair of theManch­ester, N.H., Demo­cratic Party. “If you’re in­ter­ested in help­ing out your­self, you need to help oth­ers.”

No one has done that more from a fi­nan­cial per­spec­tive than Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti through his Demo­cratic Midterm Vic­tory Fund. While pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls typ­i­cally set up lead­er­ship PACs to start col­lect­ing chits, Garcetti formed a group that is a hy­brid be­tween a su­per PAC and a more tra­di­tional PAC, mean­ing it can raise un­lim­ited sums of money.

Garcetti’s group con­trib­uted $100,000 apiece to the Iowa, New Hamp­shire, Ne­vada and South Carolina Demo­cratic par­ties, an amount that turned heads among Demo­cratic ac­tivists and lead­ers. It also do­nated an­other $20,000 to can­di­dates and groups in those states.

“For those who give real help, and that is fi­nan­cial help, a large swath of us in South Carolina Demo­cratic pol­i­tics … will re­turn the fa­vor,” said Boyd Brown, a South Carolina Demo­cratic op­er­a­tive and for­mer mem­ber of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee. “That’s how pol­i­tics works.”

Mas­sachusetts Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren, has spent the most of any se­na­tor in the early states, dol­ing out more than $65,000 in con­tri­bu­tions be­tween her lead­er­ship PAC and cam­paign com­mit­tee.

STEVE APPS AP

US Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren of Mas­sachusetts speaks at cam­paign rally Fri­day for US Sen. Tammy Bald­win in Madi­son, Wis.

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