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Walker Stapleton, the Republican nominee for Colorado governor in 2018, speaks to CBS4 about the race. (Screenshot)

Colorado candidates face a fundraising test this week as the Wednesday deadline approaches on the pre-Labor Day report and Republican Walker Stapleton is probably the candidate feeling the heat the most.

He ended the gubernatorial primary period with just $302,000 cash in the bank, compared to $1.3 million for Democrat Jared Polis. In a recent interview, Stapleton dismissed the suggestion and offered a hint at what’s to come.

“I think our fundraising numbers are strong,” Stapleton told The Colorado Sun. “There is going to be multiple elements of cavalry when it comes to support that we are going to rely on when it comes to this election.”

The cavalry — The Sun discovered — includes a federal joint fundraising committee that allows big donors another way to funnel their money to the Stapleton campaign and the Colorado Republican Party.

  • The Stapleton Victory Fund, created in early July, shows it raised about $346,000 in the first month.
  • Big donors include Stapleton’s mother, Dorothy Stapleton; Denver developer Walker Koelbel; John Freyer, of Land Title Guarantee, and his wife Virginia; all at $14,285.
  • Another 19 donors gave between $12,500 and $14,000 each. Most of the donations occurred on July 14.

Stapleton for Colorado received $14,165 from the group, while nearly $297,000 went to five committees or PACs affiliated with the Colorado Republican Party. Political parties may donate up to $615,075 to a candidate for governor.

The state Democratic Party announced a similar effort for Polis called theFearless Project. The Democrats’ effort will also help state House and Senate committees.

ADDENDUM: More than a month after the Republican Governors Association began taking shots at Polis, Democratic Governors Association started to strike back Tuesday with a TV ad bashing Walker Stapleton for failing to attend nearly half of PERA board meetings.

This story first ran in The Colorado Sun’s politics newsletter, The Unaffiliated. You can subscribe here: 

John Frank is a former Colorado Sun staff writer. He left the publication in January 2021.

Special to The Colorado Sun Twitter: @fishnette