From Reese Witherspoon to Ben Affleck, how much celebrities have donated to Democratic candidates

Danny Devito, Eva Longoria, and Anna Wintour have all maxed out on donations so far

Lily Puckett
New York
Wednesday 17 April 2019 18:34 BST
Reese Withspoon is among the celebrity donors for 2020 candidates.
Reese Withspoon is among the celebrity donors for 2020 candidates. (Getty Images for Hello Sunshine)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


The first quarter of the 2020’s presidential candidates’ campaign finance reports were submitted to the FEC this week, revealing that Bernie Sanders is leading the Democrats in fundraising efforts with $18m, a small amount of which came from celebrities.

Sanders’s donors include actors Danny Devito, who gave the Vermont senator $2,700, Susan Sarandon, who gave $2,800, and Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch, who gave $500. From the music world, Norah Jones gave $2,500.

Senator Kamala Harris totalled $12m, receiving several donations from constituents in California, including Ben Affleck and Quincy Jones, both of whom gave $2,800, and Eva Longoria, who gave $5,400, with funds divided between primary and general election. Last month, the director JJ Abrams hosted a fundraiser for the candidate; Shonda Rhimes was reportedly in attendance. Her other celebrity contributors include Lily Tomlin, William H Macy, and Felicity Huffman. Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame also gave Harris $1,000, while his former co-star John Slattery donated to Beto O’Rourke instead.

With a total of $9.4m, O’Rourke received contributions from an electric mix of donors, including Texan natives like Willie Nelson, who gave the former congressman $2,800, and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, who donated $560, as well as actor and comedian Bob Odenkirk, the director Richard Linklater, and Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong. O’Rourke also received $1,850 from Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and $2,800 from Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley, suggesting a divide in the coveted jam band vote between Sanders, who received $1,000 from Phish’s Jonathan Fishman, and O’Rourke.

Pete Buttigieg, who currently serves as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, brought in $7 million, with $2000 from West Wing star Bradley Whitford, and $2,800 from James Murdoch, the son of Rupert Murdoch.

Other celebrity donors include Rosario Dawson, who gave to her recently-announced partner Cory Booker, Reese Witherspoon, who gave to Kirsten Gillibrand, and Nicolas Cage, who gave to Andrew Yang.

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