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Biden Campaign Courts Wealthy Donors on West Coast Fund-Raising Trip

U.S.Biden Campaign Courts Wealthy Donors on West Coast Fund-Raising Trip

President Biden began a fund-raising swing through California and Washington on Friday, courting an elite subset of donors in a string of campaign events hosted by wealthy backers.

Mr. Biden planned two campaign receptions on Friday outside San Francisco, the first at the Portola Valley home of Vinod Khosla, a billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist, followed immediately by a second in Palo Alto hosted by the former chief executive of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer.

Tickets to the fund-raiser hosted by Mr. Khosla were being offered for $6,600 to $100,000 each, according to reporting by Puck. A reporter from the White House press pool traveling with the president estimated that taken together, more than 100 people attended the two events.

Mr. Khosla has been a vocal supporter of Mr. Biden and has donated heavily to Democrats during the current election cycle. Mr. Biden is expected to make two more appearances in the Seattle area on Friday evening and on Saturday, with senior staff at Microsoft and Amazon among the hosts mentioned on invitations sent by the Biden campaign for the Saturday event.

The trip comes as the Biden campaign has sought to press its financial advantage over former President Donald J. Trump’s campaign, and recently announced a $14 million ad buy this month targeting Black and Latino voters in a number of battleground states.

Mr. Trump, facing a mounting cash disadvantage, has pursued wealthy donors more aggressively and made increasingly blunt overtures to them in recent weeks. At a gathering of oil executives hosted by the oil and gas magnate Harold Hamm last month, Mr. Trump encouraged them to donate $1 billion to his presidential campaign, while pledging to roll back environmental regulations on the oil industry.

Another dinner hosted by the billionaire John Paulson that also drew a number of billionaires netted the Trump campaign more than $50 million in April.

Despite meeting with donors who may be among the largest contributors to his campaign, Mr. Biden sought on Friday to emphasize his efforts to raise money from small donors.

At the event hosted by Ms. Mayer, Mr. Biden told attendees that of the 1.6 million people who had donated to his campaign, 97 percent had given less than $200.

He added that his campaign had opened 150 offices across various battleground states while Mr. Trump had “opened zero offices — and it’s not just because he’s on trial.”

The trip this weekend, in which Mr. Biden scheduled no public appearances, offered the latest chance to tap support in some of the wealthiest and most heavily Democratic parts of the West Coast. Mr. Biden made a similar trip to California in February with stops in Santa Monica and Mountain View, and events hosted by powerful figures in Hollywood including Haim Saban.

California has far outpaced other states in donations to the Biden campaign, with nearly $21 million coming from California donors alone through March, according to data from the Federal Election Commission.

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