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Politics and Government

Polis’ personal spending on governor race reaches $22.3 million, outside spending tops $43.6 million statewide

Democratic candidates statewide continue to outraise GOP, despite big spending by Republican outside groups

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Democrat Jared Polis poured another $2.5 million into his run for Colorado governor, bringing his total personal investment in the campaign to $22.3 million, according to campaign-finance reports.

And while outside Republican groups are outspending Democrats by nearly $24.5 million to $18.4 million to influence state-level races in Colorado, Democratic candidates in key state Senate contests and the governor’s race continue to outraise their GOP rivals with three weeks remaining until Election Day. Unaffiliated outside groups have spent about $748,000.

Here’s a look at some of the key takeaways from Monday’s campaign finance filings covering fundraising between Sept. 27 and Oct. 10:

  • Polis, a congressman from Boulder, put another $2 million into his gubernatorial campaign on Oct. 1. He also put in another $500,000 on Oct. 12, after the most recent filing deadline.
  • Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton, currently the state’s treasurer, raised more than $183,000 over the two weeks, bringing his total take to nearly $3.7 million. Of that, more than $1 million is his own cash, mostly invested during the primary. He had about $326,000 in the bank as of Oct. 10.
  • Democratic candidates for attorney general and secretary of state continue to outraise their Republican rivals. Democratic AG candidate Phil Weiser raised nearly $228,000 to Republican George Brauchler’s $36,000. GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams raised about $16,000 compared with nearly $123,000 by Jena Griswold, his Democratic opponent.
  • Protect Colorado, the group funding opposition to the Proposition 112 oil and gas development setbacks and support of Amendment 74, a property-rights measure, took in another $4.1 million, mostly from oil and gas companies. The group has raised nearly $37.6 million and spent $34 million.
  • Supporters of Proposition 112 brought in about $108,000, while opponents of Amendment 74 took in nearly $1.8 million. The latter included $1 million from Conservation Colorado and $500,000 from the liberal Sixteen Thirty Fund.

But the big outside group spending on the governor’s race and key Senate contests is likely the big news of the 2018 election cycle.

A look at independent spending reports filed between June 27 and Monday indicates a Republican advantage. Some $23 million of that spending occurred since Sept. 27, the last filing deadline.

The contest for governor has attracted nearly $20 million, while state Senate contests are seeing $15 million in outside spending.

Five of those Senate contests, three in Jefferson County, one in Adams County and another in the central mountains, account for $14.5 million in spending, which has stepped up considerably in the past week.

Here’s a look at spending in those five Senate contests.

Much of the money in the governor’s contest is going toward TV, while the money for Senate races is distributed among TV, mailings and digital advertising.

Here’s a look at the top 15 outside spenders, led by the Republican Governors Association:

And here’s a look at candidate fundraising for top offices through Oct. 10:

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