Elections

Trump, Sanders top among Tacoma donors as Bloomberg opens office; Buttigieg plans Seattle trip

Tacoma and Washington state are showing up more on Democratic campaigns’ radars as the state nears its vote-by-mail primary March 10, one week after Super Tuesday.

Ballots go out Feb. 21.

Tacomans have opened their wallets wide for the candidates.

A review of Federal Election Commission data for the period ending Dec. 31 shows Tacoma ZIP codes donated $400,091 to all presidential campaigns in 2019.

Out of that, President Donald Trump received $109,877 toward his re-election.

Here’s what Tacoma residents’ donation totals looked like at the end of December for the top Democratic presidential candidates:

Bernie Sanders: $97,284

Elizabeth Warren: $36,868

Pete Buttigieg: $31,540

Joe Biden: $25,594

Andrew Yang: $17,244

Amy Klobuchar: $7,727

Trump, who is running for re-election, will be the only Republican candidate on March’s primary ballots.

The Seattle Times reported on Monday that Sanders was leading in fundraising in Seattle through the end of December, followed by Warren and Buttigieg.

Bloomberg opens Tacoma office

One campaign not worried about donations opened its Tacoma office on Broadway Sunday.

Mike Bloomberg, billionaire and former mayor of New York, is the only presidential candidate so far to open an office in Tacoma for the 2020 election.

Bloomberg also has offices in Seattle and Spokane, which opened Saturday, and has reportedly opened more than 125 offices nationwide. He’s also spent more than $200 million in advertising, far and away more than any other Democratic contender.

According to Reuters in early February, Bloomberg’s TV ad spending already was more than that of the rest of the Democratic candidates combined.

He has skipped competing directly in the early states and will be on the ballot for states voting on Super Tuesday, and, the following week, on Washington state’s primary ballot.

Early Tuesday morning, the Associated Press reported Bloomberg won New Hampshire’s first reported primary results in Dixville Notch with three write-in votes.

On Sunday, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards and Stockton, California, Mayor Michael Tubbs celebrated the opening of the Tacoma office.

“So the question is, why would the mayor of Tacoma, Washington, endorse a candidate like Michael Bloomberg?” Woodards said at the Sunday event. “Let me tell you why. Number one, I believe Michael Bloomberg is the only candidate in this race to tell the current sitting president to move.”

Tacoma Council members Keith Blocker, Robert Thoms and Lillian Hunter also were at Sunday’s event and have endorsed Bloomberg, Woodards said. Woodards announced her endorsement of Bloomberg in December.

U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the only other presidential candidates to establish campaign offices in Washington state. Those offices are in Seattle.

It’s possible Sanders will make an appearance in Washington before the March primary, said Joe Calvello, a spokesman for the Sanders campaign. Bloomberg’s campaign is also working to schedule a Tacoma visit in the near future.

Meanwhile, as the Bloomberg campaign establishes its foothold in Tacoma, another candidate is coming back to Seattle later this week for a fundraising brunch.

Mayor Pete returning to Seattle

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to make a Seattle appearance 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 15. According to the listing on his campaign website, the location will be announced closer to the time of the event.

Marisol Samayoa, deputy national press secretary for Pete for America, told The News Tribune on Monday evening that the campaign has volunteers in every congressional district across Washington.

Buttigieg last made a Seattle-area fundraising sweep in December. Fellow contender Andrew Yang also made a Seattle fundraising trip that month.

Tickets for the Buttigieg event already have sold out at the $25-$250 level, with available tickets going for $500 up to the maximum individual campaign contribution limit amount of $2,800. The highest-priced ticket also gets you a meet and greet with Buttigieg, according to the ticket info.

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