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Politics and Government

Lauren Boebert’s campaign leads the pack as Colorado congressional candidates raised $4.8M last quarter

Boebert, a Garfield County Republican, gathered nearly $1 million in April, May and June. Gov. Jared Polis gave his reelection campaign $250,000.

Third District Rep. Lauren Boebert takes the stage at the Western Conservative Summit on June 19, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency in Denver. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)
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Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert and candidates hoping to unseat her in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District raised more than $1.8 million last quarter.

The Garfield County incumbent led the pack, pulling in almost $950,000 from April through the end of June, according to Federal Election Commission reports

State Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat, raised nearly $536,000 last quarter, the most of any of the 3rd District challengers. Donovan’s campaign had $479,000 in the bank heading into July after spending $419,000.

Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, whose 2022 reelection campaign could help decide which party controls the U.S. Senate, raised more than $1.7 million between April 1 and the end of June and had about $2.3 million in cash at the end of the quarter. That’s less than the $2 million Bennet raised in the second quarter of 2015 heading into the 2016 election, when he finished the first six months of the year with $4.4 million in the bank. But unlike last election cycle, Bennet has yet to draw a prominent Republican challenger.

In total, nearly $5 million was raised by candidates running in 2022 congressional races in Colorado. 

3rd CD draws competition and cash

Boebert’s high profile since arriving in Washington earlier this year is fueling her $2 million fundraising for the 2022 election cycle.

In only six months, Boebert has raised nearly two-thirds of her 2020 total. But she’s also already spent $1 million in that time, nearly a quarter of that on direct mail in just the last three months. Boebert’s campaign reported nearly $33,000 in travel expenses and $35,000 in spending on legal fees during the last fundraising quarter. 

Boebert also made four payments through her campaign account to Venmo totaling $6,650, each one described as a “personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error.” The campaign made two payments on May 3 for $2,000 and $1,325, and two payments in the same amounts on June 3. All four state the “expense has been reimbursed,” but her report doesn’t list the reimbursements. Her campaign finance director said in an email that the reimbursements will show up in the Oct. 15 report.

Donovan is the leading Democrat in terms of fundraising in the race, while Democratic state Rep. Don Valdez, of La Jara, trails in a distant second. His second-quarter haul totaled $121,000. He spent nearly all of that money, leaving him with about $46,000 in cash on hand.

The only other CD3 candidate to raise six-figures was Democrat Sol Sandoval, of Pueblo, who  raised $114,000, the bulk of which she also spent last quarter. She had $34,000 left in her campaign account heading into July. 

The Democratic primary for CD3 is already crowded as candidates jockey to face the conservative firebrand from Silt. But if preliminary redistricting maps hold up, Valdez and Sandoval could find themselves living in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District. That would give Donovan an easier path to her party’s nomination, though congressional candidates don’t have to live in the district they’re running in.

Boebert, Donovan and other congressional candidates spent much of their money during the last quarter on fundraising, from consultants to digital ads seeking campaign cash.

Congressional incumbents build solid foundations.

Congressional redistricting is lending uncertainty to the 2022 political landscape, with a new, 8th district yet to be defined and significant changes expected in every other district. Few challengers to the incumbents have stepped forward, and those who have are raising little money.

That’s left incumbents hauling in the campaign cash. Here’s a breakdown of their hauls:

  • In the 1st Congressional District, Democratic U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, of Denver, raised more than $100,000 last quarter and spent $71,000, leaving her with $303,000 in cash on hand. She has yet to draw a Republican challenger, but two Democrats have filed with the FEC to challenge her in the primary. 
  • In the 2nd Congressional District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, of Lafayette, raised $235,000 last quarter and spent $140,000, leaving him with $1.3 million in cash to spend. He has no opponent as of yet.
  • In the 4th Congressional District, Republican U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, of Windsor, raised $153,000 last quarter, but spent $143,000 of it, leaving him with $384,000 in the bank. Democrat Ike McCorkle, of Parker, trailed far behind, raising $35,000. McCorkle spent $37,000 last quarter, leaving him with $160,000 in cash on hand. McCorkle lost to Buck in November.
  • The 5th Congressional District saw the least money raised last quarter, with Republican incumbent Doug Lamborn, of Colorado Springs, raising $54,000. Lamborn spent $24,000, leaving him with $432,000 in the bank. Several candidates have filed to run against Lamborn, but have not raised a significant amount of money. 
  • In the 6th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Jason Crow of Aurora continued to build his warchest. Crow raised $319,000 last quarter while spending $183,000, growing his campaign account to more than $1.6 million.
  • In the 7th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Ed Perlmutter, of Arvada, raised $162,000 last quarter and spent $166,000. He had more than $1 million in cash on hand. Republican Laurel Imer, of Golden, raised almost $7,000, spent $4,000 and had $2,000 left to spend.
  • U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who won’t be up for reelection until 2026, raised $181,000 last quarter and spent $155,000, leaving him with $1.4 million in the bank. The man he defeated, Republican former U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner didn’t raise any money last quarter, and spent just $7,000. Gardner still has more than $1 million in his campaign account.

Neguse, Crow and Perlmutter each donated $50,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democrats’ U.S. House campaign arm.

Polis puts $250K into his campaign

State-level campaign reports also were due on Thursday, and showed that Democratic Gov. Jared Polis gave his campaign $250,000 in late June, bringing his total investment for the 2022 contest thus far to $438,000. His campaign had more than $268,000 in cash on hand heading into July. He spent more than $23 million of his own money to win election in 2018.

Republican Greg Lopez, the former Parker mayor who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in 2018, has raised $33,000 total for his second try. Lopez is Polis’ only challenger with significant fundraising thus far.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s campaign raised nearly $341,000 in the second quarter of the year, and had more than $827,000 in the bank. 

Griswold received $85,000 from the Colorado Democratic Party in late June. Political parties may donate up to $135,775 to candidates for secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer. But she’s the first candidate to receive a large contribution from the party.

Griswold’s first Republican challenger, David Winney of Colorado Springs, filed to run on Thursday.

Attorney General Phil Weiser continued to build his campaign war chest, which had more than $1.5 million in the bank at the end of June after he raised nearly $529,000 in April, May and June. Thus far, no one has filed to challenge Weiser, a Democrat.

Democratic Treasurer Dave Young trails the other statewide incumbents in campaign cash, raising more than $50,000 in the second quarter. His campaign had nearly $117,000 in cash. Young also has no challenger so far.

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