RI fundraiser for Biden-Harris ticket brings in over $1 million


FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden stands at left as his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Del. On Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting Harris is not eligible to serve as president because her parents were immigrants. Harris, 55, was born on Oct. 20, 1964, in Oakland, Calif., making her a natural-born U.S. citizen. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The fundraiser organized by leading Rhode Island Democrats to benefit the Biden-Harris presidential ticket on Wednesday raised over $1 million for their campaign, according to former Providence Mayor Joe Paolino Jr.

“Never been done in the history of Rhode Island politics,” declared Paolino, who co-chaired the fundraiser along with Liz Beretta-Perik, Arthur Solomon, Don Sweitzer and Clay Pell. “Checks are still coming in. I’ve never seen anything like it in politics.”

Tickets started at $25, with a maximum donation of $50,000, according to an invitation. Paolino, who is also Rhode Island’s Democratic national committeeman, said he’s never had such an easy time raising big money for a campaign — and he offered a one-word explanation: “Trump.”

“I think he’s the best fundraiser for him, and he’s the best fundraiser for Biden,” Paolino said.

The virtual fundraiser was held on Zoom, which also made it more profitable for the campaign since there were no costs for security, refreshments, a facility or any of the other myriad expenses that are usually associated with a high-dollar political event.

The Republican ticket has not held any major fundraisers in Rhode Island that have become public so far this cycle, but Vice President Mike Pence made a fall stop in Newport four years ago to raise money for the president’s first campaign.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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