Rep. Summer Lee is announcing she raised more than $1 million last quarter, a substantial haul as the first-term Democrat fends off competitive primary challenges potentially funded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
She’s touting the large swath of small-dollar donations, with 90 percent of her contributions coming in at less than $250. Lee (D-Pa.), an ally of the progressive “squad” of Democratic lawmakers, also declines to take donations from corporate PACs.
“I am so proud of the multigenerational, mulitracial movement we have built in Western Pennsylvania to protect and expand our democracy — it is our greatest defense against the dark money Super PACs and corporate lobbies who seek to undermine it,” Lee said in a statement. “They have Donald Trump and Nikki Haley’s donors, we have the overwhelming power of the people.”
Pro-Israel groups have targeted Lee and other progressive lawmakers who have voiced criticism of Israel’s war in Gaza, sparking concern on the left about well-funded challengers to liberal lawmakers. But in line with previous incumbent-protecting tradition, Lee was recently endorsed by top House Democratic leaders.
Lee is facing two Democratic challengers: Edgewood Borough Council member Bhavini Patel and Laurie MacDonald, president and CEO of the Center for Victims. Patel announced a $310,000 haul for last quarter, and MacDonald only entered the race this month.