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Buttigieg campaign introduces contest for lowest donation

Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date Biden to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill MORE's presidential campaign announced a new contest to drum up fundraising: who can give the Democratic candidate the lowest contribution. 

In a email to supporters Tuesday evening, Buttigieg's campaign wrote that the donor who contributes the lowest amount in the hours ahead — provided that no other donor matches the contribution amount — will win a prize from the campaign.

"All you have to do to win is donate the smallest amount that nobody else donates," reads the email. "Multiple donations are allowed; just be creative, pick a unique donation amount, and you could win."

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Some Twitter users pointed out that the effect of the contest would be to lower the South Bend, Ind., mayor's average donation amount. Other candidates, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersABC names new deputy political director, weekend White House correspondent Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor GOP pulling out all the stops to delay COVID-19 package MORE (I-Vt.), have frequently touted their low average donations on the debate stage to highlight grassroots support for their campaigns.

"The Pete for America Innovation Team out there working hard on Christmas Eve coming up with gimmicks to lower his average donation amount this quarter. Funny stuff," wrote Tim Tagaris, a senior adviser to the Sanders campaign.

"This is so transparently hilarious. Wow, his average donation was lower this quarter... it’s a Christmas miracle!" Tagaris added.

The fundraising contest comes just days after Buttigeig faced heat from his fellow Democrats onstage at Thursday's Democratic debate over a fundraiser in a wine cave, which was pilloried by rivals such as Andrew YangAndrew YangDozens of famous men support ,400 monthly payments for mothers for 'unpaid labor at home' Yang intervenes after man threatened with metal pole on Staten Island Ferry NYC's largest union endorses Maya Wiley in mayoral race MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPhilly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case Senators question Bezos, Amazon about cameras placed in delivery vans MORE (D-Mass.) as an effort to sway big donors to Buttigieg's campaign while opening up the mayor to special interests.

Buttigeig and Warren in particular have been battling ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

The battles over fundraising and donors have prompted new scrutiny of both campaigns. On Tuesday, The Washington Post published a story that focused on contributions from bigger donors that Warren had taken before her presidential campaign.