Former Vice President and current Democratic primary front-runner Joe Biden is picking up a big campaign boost from some of Wall Street’s top liberal fundraisers, Marc Lasry and Blair Effron.
Lasry is a part owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Effron is the co-founder of Centerview Partners. The pair had been backing Sen. Kamala Harris, who dropped out of the race on Dec. 3 after her polling numbers fizzled.
Lasry and Effron both were part of Harris’ finance committee, which included other big-money players on Wall Street like Siris Capital co-founder Frank Baker. They also hosted several fundraising events for the California senator before she dropped out.
The pair’s support comes at an important time for the former vice president, who is leading most major national polls. Some state polls indicate things are closer than they appear, but Biden remains the most prominent alternative to ultra-progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
The Iowa and Nevada caucuses, along with the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, take place in February. And Biden is looking to bolster his fundraising numbers after lagging rivals Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg during the third quarter.
Lasry is no fan of Warren, who has been a particularly outspoken critic of all things Wall Street, saying she would cause the market to drop 20% to 30% were she to win the presidency.
Lasry and Effron were important fundraisers for former President Barack Obama during his two campaigns, and for Hillary Clinton’s losing effort against Donald Trump in 2016. Lasry helped steer $500,000 to Obama’s campaign in 2012, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, and brought in more than $100,000 for Clinton. Both have donated $2,800 to Biden’s campaign this year.
Biden had been lagging in campaign funding, raising just $15 million in the third quarter with $9 million in the bank. The Associated Press is reporting that Biden’s fourth-quarter fundraising has rocketed past his third-quarter haul, though the totals haven’t been made available yet.
Greycroft founding managing director Alan Patricof also is assisting Biden with his fundraising.