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

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — ObamaCare premiums dropping for 2020 | Warren, Buttigieg shift stances on 'Medicare for All' | Drug companies spend big on lobbying Poll: Biden holds 2 point lead over Sanders nationally Saagar Enjeti: Warren, Buttigieg don't stand a chance against Trump 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.

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“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 SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — ObamaCare premiums dropping for 2020 | Warren, Buttigieg shift stances on 'Medicare for All' | Drug companies spend big on lobbying Mellman: Trumping peace and prosperity Tlaib to join Sanders at campaign rally in Detroit MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSaagar Enjeti: Warren, Buttigieg don't stand a chance against Trump Warren overtakes Sanders in new poll The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump faces backlash for comparing impeachment to 'lynching' MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerProgressive commentator: Voters becoming weary of Warren policy proposals Saagar Enjeti: Warren, Buttigieg don't stand a chance against Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump faces backlash for comparing impeachment to 'lynching' MORE (D-N.J.) and more, have already sworn off corporate and lobbyist donations. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — ObamaCare premiums dropping for 2020 | Warren, Buttigieg shift stances on 'Medicare for All' | Drug companies spend big on lobbying Mellman: Trumping peace and prosperity On The Money: Waters clashes with Trump officials over 'disastrous' housing finance plan | Dems jump into Trump turf war over student loans | House passes bill targeting anonymous shell companies 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 BidenSupport for impeachment inches up in poll Overnight Defense: Trump's Syria envoy wasn't consulted on withdrawal | McConnell offers resolution urging Trump to rethink Syria | Diplomat says Ukraine aid was tied to political investigations Democrats say they have game changer on impeachment 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.