Campaign

Progressive fundraising platform Crowdpac relaunching after shutting down in May

Campaign crowdfunding platform Crowdpac relaunched on Wednesday ahead of next year's general election cycle.

Representatives for the political technology company Prytany exclusively told The Hill that the group is acquiring Crowdpac.

The new version of the platform is nearly identical to the original site, with a goal to encourage young, diverse, and progressive candidates to run for office.

The group will be led by Royal Kastens, a political veteran and former staffer to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass).

"If someone is considering a run, Crowdpac is a way to test the viability of that run - from city school board to President of the United States," Kastens told The Hill.

Kastens said the group raised close to $16 million between 2014 and 2018.

Forty-six percent of the nearly 3,000 candidates who used the money raised were women, while 29 percent were millennials. Another 20 percent were veterans.

"There's so much potential to build on that, and engage even more progressive candidates and users in our democratic process heading into 2020 - the most important election of our lifetime," Kastens said.

The platform's fee on contributions collected will drop from the previous eight percent to three percent.

Crowdpac, which first launched in 2014, shutdown last May due to a failure to bring in enough money to support itself.

The platform was originally labeled as a non-partisan fundraising site but suspended all of its accounts for GOP candidates last year.

Then-acting Crowdpac CEO said the break was a result of the link between the GOP and President Trump.

"Because Trumpism is so heavily linked with the modern national Republican Party, and because very few federal leaders in the Republican Party have meaningfully rejected Trumpism, we are temporarily suspending fundraising for Republican candidates on Crowdpac.com," then-acting CEO Jesse Thomas said in 2018.

The resurrection comes as Democratic fundraising becomes more reliant on grassroots measures.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) raised $25.3 million in the third quarter, which was powered by roughly 1.4 million donations.

His fellow progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), has also relied heavily on individual donations, bringing in $24.6 million in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, candidates who rely more on large-dollar donors, like former Vice President Joe Biden have trailed behind their progressive counterparts in fundraising.

Biden raised $15.2 million in the third quarter, while South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) raised $19.1 million.

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