April 24, 2020 / 6:06 PM / a month ago

Biden, Democrats enter a joint fundraising agreement for November election

FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic at an event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee have agreed to a joint fundraising accord that will allow the former vice president and likely presidential nominee to raise more money and compete on a more equal footing with Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election.

The accord, announced by the DNC on Friday, allows the candidate’s “Biden Victory Fund” to raise a maximum donation of $360,600 from individual donors, with the limit of $5,600 going to Biden’s campaign and the rest earmarked for the DNC.

Biden has been trying to close his money gap with Trump, who has long had a similar arrangement in place with the Republican National Committee.

Biden’s campaign fundraising picked up steam in March as he surged in the Democratic nominating race, even as fundraising events largely moved online during the coronavirus outbreak and public campaign events were canceled.

Yet Biden ended March with $26.4 million in the bank, well below Trump’s $98.5 million, according to campaign finance disclosures.

Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee to challenge Trump earlier this month when Biden’s last remaining rival, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, dropped out of the race. The likely nominee typically works closely with the party committee and chooses some of the top officials.

As part of the agreement, the Biden campaign will have veteran Democratic operative Mary Beth Cahill, who was campaign manager for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, take over from Seema Nanda as the DNC’s chief executive officer.

“Our goal is to ensure that we put Joe Biden in the best position possible to beat Donald Trump, and this joint fundraising agreement allows us to do just that,” Cahill said in a statement.

Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Howard Goller

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