April 26 (UPI) -- Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign announced Friday that he raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential candidacy, outpacing his Democratic competitors.
The one-day haul ekes out ahead of the next-highest 24-hour total -- former Rep. Beto O'Rourke's $6.1 million.
The $6.3 million figure was fueled in part by a fundraiser Biden threw in Philadelphia on Thursday, the day he announced his campaign. He spoke to donors the day before on a conference call.
"People think Iowa and New Hampshire are the first test. It's not. The first 24 hours. That's the first test," Biden said, three unnamed sources on the call told Politico.
Kate Bedingfield, Biden's deputy campaign manager and communications director, told The Hill the campaign was emboldened by the support.
"It's crystal clear from the last 24 hours that Americans are ready for dignified leadership, someone who can restore the soul of the nation, rebuild the middle class so everyone gets a fair shot and unite the country behind the core values we all believe in," she said.
Biden joined a field of nearly two dozen candidates running for president in 2020, saying he wants to set himself up as a contrast to President Donald Trump. He cited the deadly Unite the Right white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 that left a woman dead.
"In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike I'd ever seen in my lifetime," Biden said. "I wrote at the time that we're in a battle for the soul of this nation. If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation."