Nierenberg signs onto Buttigieg’s campaign

One of Clark County’s most politically connected residents has thrown his support and money to Democrat Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.

David Nierenberg, a Camas investment manager, has backed both Republicans and Democrats for state and federal office. He was a financial insider during Republican Mitt Romney’s two presidential campaigns, in 2008 and 2012. For the 2016 election, Nierenberg initially helped coordinate fundraisers for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican, before endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton.

So why is he backing Buttigieg this time around?

“It starts with the fact that I think Donald Trump is the worst, most dangerous president in the history of the United States,” Nierenberg said. “My principal objective is to replace him.”

Trump faces only token opposition for the Republican nomination, which effectively rules out Nierenberg backing a different Republican. He’s not a big fan of left-leaning candidates, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“My political views tend to be moderate,” he said. “I tend to like people who are not flamethrowers, on the left or the right.”

Nierenberg said he attended a New York City fundraiser for Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind., in the final quarter of 2019 and liked what he heard.

“I thought he was brilliant, pragmatic, nonideological and highly inclusive,” he said.

Nierenberg said both he and his wife, Patricia, donated $2,800 to Buttigieg. More significantly, he committed to become a Buttigieg fundraiser.

Nierenberg said there are other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination that he could support should Buttigieg fall short in the long nominating process. They include Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Vice President Joe Biden, although he was decidedly cool on the man widely seen as the strongest candidate to unseat Trump.

Biden, he said, “appears to be a bit tired” and “seems to be a little nose blind to the taint” of his son, Hunter, being paid up to $50,000 a month to serve on the board of directors for a large Ukrainian natural gas company.

For now, Nierenberg is squarely in Buttigieg’s corner. Last June, Ken Fisher, another Camas investment manager, and his wife, Sherrilyn, each contributed $125,000 to Victory Trump, a joint fundraising committee between Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Nierenberg said he asked about other financial options so he could donate more than $2,800, the maximum an individual can donate directly to a candidate for the primary, but was told that Buttigieg “at this time” was accepting only $2,800.

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