Universal’s Jeff Shell to Host Kamala Harris for 2020 Campaign Fundraiser

Kamala Harris Democratic candidate for US President Kamala Harris, Oakland, USA - 27 Jan 2019

Universal’s Jeff Shell will host a fundraiser for Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign on Saturday, in what is expected to draw heavily on entertainment industry supporters.

Sources said that Harris will appear at the event after one earlier in the day hosted by David Cooley, the CEO and founder of the Abbey, the West Hollywood eatery and nightclub.

Harris is the first declared 2020 Democratic candidate to line up official, Hollywood-centric fundraising events. A number of bundlers, such as Haim Saban, say that they want to wait to see who enters the race before endorsing a candidate, but Harris has been aggressively wooing industry donors to write checks and make an initial splash in the money primary.

Shell, who is chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, has been an active fundraiser in recent cycles. Last year, he hosted an event at his home for the reelection campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and former President Barack Obama was one of the headliners.

When it comes to drawing showbiz money, Harris also may benefit from the decision by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti not to enter the presidential race, as some of his supporters had been waiting to see whether he would run. Garcetti, like Harris, has close ties to industry donors and likely would have drawn heavily on their contributions had he made a presidential bid.

Harris announced her campaign last week, and her launch has established her as one of the top tier contenders in the race, even at this early stage. A CNN town hall on Monday drew almost two million viewers, setting a record for the cable news network’s town hall events for a single candidate.