Ellen DeGeneres, Sean Hayes to co-host star-studded Buttigieg fundraiser

Actor Jason Bateman and talk show host Chelsea Handler will also be among the celebrities in attendance to support Mayor Pete's 2020 presidential run.
Image: Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks at the South Carolina Democratic Convention in Columbia on June 22, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks at the South Carolina Democratic Convention in Columbia on June 22, 2019.Meg Kinnard / AP
By Tim Fitzsimons

A star-studded Hollywood fundraiser will be held for openly gay 2020 presidential contender Pete Buttigieg on July 25. The event will be co-hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and Sean Hayes, two of the most famous LGBTQ entertainers, with other well-known celebrities slated to attend.

The event will be held at the Los Angeles home of NBCUniversal executive Kevin MacLellan and his husband, Brian Curran. (NBC News is a subsidiary of NBCUniversal.)

Actor Jason Bateman and talk show host Chelsea Handler will be among the celebrities in attendance, and tickets, which are still on sale, range from $500 to $2,800. A $2,800 donation includes a photo with Mayor Pete.

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The event is one of several Los Angeles-area events the South Bend, Indiana, mayor rescheduled for later this month after a police shooting in his city led him to call off a June fundraising swing through Southern California. Tickets are also on sale for a lunch reception and a "conversation" at the home of gay entrepreneurs Mike Rose and Ruben Rodriguez.

It's not just West Coast's celebrities who have embraced Buttigieg. Variety reported that on May 13, he was the beneficiary of a star-studded event in New York, with performer Alan Cummings, TV host Andy Cohen and actors Jane Lynch and Billy Porter in attendance.

Buttigieg ranked fifth with 7 percent support in the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, behind Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.

Buttigieg reported $7 million in donations in the first quarter of 2019, an early total that was in part fueled by LGBTQ donors, according to The Associated Press. But soon after the first Democratic debates, the South Bend mayor reported the largest fundraising haul of any candidate for the second quarter: nearly $25 million.

According to that same NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Buttigieg was ranked as one of the candidates who “impressed them the most.”

Buttigieg, like Biden and Harris, holds high-dollar fundraisers like the scheduled Hollywood event, while Sanders and Warren have funded their runs through small donations from large donor bases.

On Saturday, the Buttigieg campaign dispatched his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, to Fire Island Pines, a largely gay vacation destination in New York, for a fundraiser with tickets ranging in price from $100 to $1,000.

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