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In campaign fundraising, Kamala Harris is getting minority donors to sign big checks

Kamala HarrisKamala Harrisemocratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) meets with civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network, during lunch at Sylvia's Restaurant on February 21, 2019 in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.
(Photo by Bebeto Matthews-Pool/Getty Images)

Kamala Harris is making big financial gains for her campaign at fundraising events and surprisingly it’s not coming from the coffers of wealthy white donors.

Harris who in recent months attended a fundraising event in Atlanta at a 6,500-square-foot mansion in an upscale neighborhood and then a month later was on hand at a spinal surgeon’s home in Cleveland to speak to voters, racked up thousands of dollars from donors who were primarily people of color, NBCreports.

READ MORE: Kamala Harris gains support in Jamaican and Indian communities

“I did not know we had this kind of nonwhite wealth in Ohio,” said state Rep.Tavia Galonski, a Black woman who represents an Akron-based district that is almost entirely white, in a text message, according to the outlet. “My understanding is this group is firmly behind the Harris ticket and they’ve got the money to back it up.”

While in Georgia, Harris attended a fundraiser at a private club and a rally at Morehouse College. By the time she left she had secured $200,000, a campaign official said.

According to an NBC News analysis, Harris is making big headway by tapping into wealthy minority communities across the US in cities like San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Cleveland, South Florida and the Washington suburbs. Those minority contributors has enabled her to rack up twice as much campaign cash as her competitors who have the biggest bank.

READ MORE: Cory Booker and Kamala Harris hit the stage side-by-side at the NAACP Image Awards

“That is indicative of the efforts that Harris has put into making donors from the minority community feel welcome and supported and aware of the fact that there are donors in the Black community that generally haven’t been touched in the way that this campaign has,” said Susan Pease Langford, a lawyer who co-hosted the Atlanta fundraiser and who is also the mother-in-law of former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Harris ability to tap into a minority base, may serve as an early benefit said Tad Devine, a top strategist for several past Democratic presidential campaigns.

“That’s an indication that she has real advantage, without a doubt, and can build on that politically, not just financially,” he said.

READ MORE: Biden, moving into full campaign swing, gears up to court Black vote

NBC’s analysis says Harris has garnered as much as $1 million from ZIP codes where a majority of the residents are not white. Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke was second behind Harris in minority fundraising with more than $408,000 from those same areas. Behind them was Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with about $406,000 and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker with $391,000. No other candidate broke the $250,000 mark.

In larger figures, however, Harris is well behind Sanders, according to numbers released by the Federal Election Commission. In total fundraising among Democrats, Sanders has raised $20.8 million, followed by Maryland Rep. John Delaney who has $18.2 million and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with $16.4. Harris totals out at $13.2 million.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s figures will not be available until the FEC releases its second-quarter numbers, but he campaign reported he raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours after announcing he was running last month, making him likely to surpass all the other Democratic candidates.

However, they are currently all behind President Trump whose war chest has gathered $97.8 million in funding so far, a year and a half out from the 2020 election.

Still political watchers say that Harris still carries momentum with a base that was happy to see her run for the White House.

“With this money machine comes on-the-ground support,” said Goldie Taylor, Daily Beast editor and author told NBC News. “This machine has the ability to turn out in all of metro Atlanta’s eight counties. If you can win this machine, you can win the Georgia Democratic primary.”

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