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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg appeared at a fundraiser in Detroit on Sunday, his campaign confirmed over the weekend.

South Bend Mayor Buttgieg has raised the second largest amount of money from Michigan donors to Democratic presidential candidates so far in the campaign. His husband, Chasten Buttigieg, grew up in Traverse City.

Buttigieg's Detroit event took place from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at a still-undisclosed location in Detroit. Ticket prices for the event ranged from $500 to $2,800, according to an invitation obtained by The Detroit News. The invitation asked attendees to join Buttigieg for "an afternoon reception."

Buttigieg was in Michigan just for the Sunday event, said campaign spokesman Chris Meagher.

Attendees included Oakland County Executive David Coulter, state Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit, and state Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield.

Hollier and Moss both said they haven't picked a candidate to support in the race yet.

"If I were voting today, I’d be voting for him," Hollier added of Buttigieg

Hollier said about 60 to 100 people attended the Buttigieg fundraiser at a home in Detroit.

Coulter posted on Facebook about the event, "Soldier, husband, public servant, Mayor Pete is an honorable and intelligent candidate for president."

The fundraiser came less than a week after Buttigieg and nine other Democratic presidential candidates participated in a debate in Atlanta on Wednesday. During the debate, Buttigieg, who has been mayor of South Bend since 2012, defended his readiness to become president of the United States.

"I have the right experience to take on Donald Trump," Buttigieg said during the debate. "I get that it's not traditional establishment Washington experience. But I would argue we need something very different right now. In order to defeat the president, we need somebody who can go toe to toe, who actually comes from the kinds of communities he's been appealing to."

Buttigieg, who has been gaining traction in states that hold the first presidential nominating contests, also took criticism on Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said Buttigieg has "inexperience" on the subject of national security. She alleged Buttigieg wanted to send troops to Mexico to fight drug cartels. Buttigieg called the allegation "outlandish" and said the statements Gabbard was referring to were actually about building cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico.

As of June 30, Buttigieg was second to only Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the amount of money raised from Michigan, according to a campaign finance data analysis by the Center for Public Integrity. As of that point, Sanders had raised about $895,500 from Michigan donors while Buttigieg had raised about $586,000.

For July 1 through Sept. 30, the campaign finance disclosures available cover only donors who've given at least $200. Over that period, Sanders reported raising $259,408 more from Michigan donors while Buttigieg raised $240,483.

cmauger@detroitnews.com

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