Biden's presidential bid prompts candidate push for donations

PHOTO: Sen. Cory Booker takes selfies with residents at the conclusion of a 2020 presidential campaign stop, April 7, 2019, in Londonderry, N.H.PlaySteven Senne/AP, FILE
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Democratic presidential candidates are ramping up fundraising efforts following former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign announcement.

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In the hours after Biden’s campaign released a video announcing his 2020 bid, several candidates sent emails to motivate recipients to give to their campaigns.

Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Eric Swalwell welcomed Biden to the wide Democratic field.

PHOTO: Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at a town hall gathering, March 8, 2019, in Hemingway, S.C. Meg Kinnard/AP
Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at a town hall gathering, March 8, 2019, in Hemingway, S.C.

“As of this morning, my friend Joe Biden is now running for president. And you know what I say to that? The more, the merrier,” said Harris.

“Now it’s a party,” tweeted Swalwell. “Welcome to the race, @JoeBiden.”

Sen. Cory Booker and Beto O’rourke’s emails had a more tepid tone.

“Team -- there is no doubt his decision could shake up the race,” Booker said.

“We aren’t starting with the same level of name recognition as Joe Biden,” read O’Rourke’s campaign email. “But we can win by making sure every voter is heard and no one is left behind or taken for granted.”

For candidates still working to secure a spot on the debate stage, fundraising is vital. According to DNC rules, there are two ways candidates qualify for the debates. Candidates must receive donations 65,000 people across 20 states with 200 unique donors in each state or they must reach 1 percent in three state or national polls.

In an email to voters, Julián Castro acknowledged that he isn’t a frontrunner in this field of Democratic candidates and said he needs “less than 8,000 donors” to qualify for primary debates.

“I didn’t grow up a frontrunner,” said Castro. “And I know this country wasn’t built by frontrunners either. It was built by families like yours and mine who toiled to achieve opportunity.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told recipients that without more donors, she wouldn’t make the debate.

“If you want me on that stage, we need to add 500 donors before Friday at midnight, and I’m counting on you to be one of them,” said Gillibrand.