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Pete Buttigieg’s L.A. Fundraising Swing in June Draws Industry Entrepreneurs

Pete Buttigieg
CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Pete Buttigieg will be in Los Angeles on May 9 for a fundraising swing and his campaign is already lining up other events for another visit in June.

He’s headlining a fundraiser on the afternoon of June 19 at the Hancock Park home of Mike Rose and Ruben Rodriguez, who sold Ease Entertainment Services in 2015 to Entertainment Partners. Ease provided an innovated production management, payroll and residuals technology platform.

The event, with tickets starting at $250 per person, is expected to draw about 400 people. Buttigieg is also planning at least three other events during his June visit, including a fundraising reception in the early evening on June 19 at the Beverly Hills home of Ryan Murphy and David Miller.

Rose said Buttigieg is the “perfect storm candidate” to run against Trump. “He is everything Trump is not,” he said. He also said Buttigieg, as mayor of the medium-sized city of South Bend, Ind., has the type of pragmatic government experience that is needed in Washington.

Buttigieg, 37, is also “a guy who is going to be around here to live with the consequences of what he does,” Rose said.

He said a college friend turned him on to Buttigieg and, after listening to him being interviewed for a podcast earlier this year, he decided that he was “all in.”

Several weeks later, on March 10, Buttigieg did a CNN town hall that garnered strong reviews, and quickly boosted his profile. In the first quarter, he raised more than $7 million, and many of the contributions from entertainment sources came after the CNN appearance.

Buttigieg has made several treks to L.A., meeting with longtime donors and fundraisers and drawing interest from celebrity figures like Oprah Winfrey.

On May 9, Buttigieg will appear at four fundraising events in the L.A. area, including one at the home of Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Brad Falchuk, and a low-dollar fundraiser at West Hollywood nightspot the Abbey, with tickets starting at $25 per person.

Rose said the Buttigieg event is the first fundraiser he’s hosted for a presidential candidate. As the first gay candidate to be a serious contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, Buttigieg’s candidacy is “game-changing of historic proportions,” he said, and noted in particular the impact it will have on LGBT youth who struggle with acceptance in more conservative communities.

Rose said had there been a gay presidential contender when he was growing up in Cincinnati, “every single thought and fear I ever had about my future would be completely different.”

Co-hosts of the event include John Gile and Jeff Valenson, Marc Ware, Craig Dougherty and Tony Leonhardt, Nick Hess, Trevor Allen and Ben Costa, and Brian Pendleton.