Buttigieg campaign says it will return, no longer accept lobbyist donations

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November Buttigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Hillicon Valley: FBI, DHS warn that foreign hackers will likely spread disinformation around election results | Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day | Trump to meet with Republican state officials on tech liability shield MORE’s (D) presidential campaign announced Friday it will no longer accept donations from lobbyists and will return over $30,000 in contributions it has already received.

“Mayor Pete will not be influenced by special-interest money, and we understand that making this promise is an important part of that commitment.

"We understand that making this decision and being vocal about our values is important; that the decision means more than just whether or not we are willing to accept money from a specific individual,” the campaign wrote in an email to supporters, saying the refund will amount to $30,250 donated from 39 individuals.


“Standing up for our collective values not only includes saying we believe that campaigns should not take money from lobbyists; it also means being aware of the loopholes that still allow special interests to impact the campaign,” the campaign wrote. 

The campaign vowed to establish internal procedures to ensure it is abiding by its new promise.

The midwestern mayor has surged in recent polls and raked in $7 million in the first quarter of 2019 after several viral moments and an appearance at a CNN town hall that caught the eyes of donors and political observers in Washington.

Buttigieg had won early support from lobbyists with whom he has developed ties throughout his career, but their support presented him a tough decision, as progressive groups have pushed Democratic contenders to reject special interest money.

Several other presidential candidates, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOutrage erupts over Breonna Taylor grand jury ruling Dimon: Wealth tax 'almost impossible to do' Grand jury charges no officers in Breonna Taylor death MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle Nearly 40 Democratic senators call for climate change questions in debates Joe Biden has long forgotten North Carolina: Today's visit is too late MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into allegations of medical neglect at Georgia ICE facility MORE (D-N.J.) and more, have already sworn off corporate and lobbyist donations. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDimon: Wealth tax 'almost impossible to do' CNN's Don Lemon: 'Blow up the entire system' remark taken out of context Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court MORE (D-Mass.) vowed to go a step farther, saying she would not attend high-priced, private fundraisers and one-on-one meetings with wealthy donors.

Buttigieg had already sworn off donations from corporate PACs but did not cut off money from influential lobbying groups until Friday.

The Indiana Democrat’s announcement also comes the same day former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Democratic groups using Bloomberg money to launch M in Spanish language ads in Florida Harris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle MORE’s presidential campaign declared it raked in $6.3 million in its first 24 hours, more than any other candidates’ first-day haul.

About $700,000 of that was garnered at a Thursday fundraiser hosted by Comcast executive David Cohen and health insurance executive Daniel Hilferty, according to The Wall Street Journal.