FILE - Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks during the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications' 18th First Amendment Awards at the NH Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on Nov. 9, 2021. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is endorsing challenger Harriet Hageman over Cheney in the GOP primary in Wyoming, a rare departure for a party leader attempting to boost a Trump-aligned candidate over one of the former president's chief critics. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

Colorado money is flowing into the closely watched Republican U.S. House primary next week in Wyoming between U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and her Trump-backed challenger, Harriet Hageman. And some of the GOP’s most prominent donors are split in their support, mirroring the party’s Colorado split between those aligned with former President Donald Trump and those who want to move on.

About 400 Coloradans donated more than $363,000 to Cheney’s campaign through July 27, while nearly 140 Coloradans donated nearly $165,000 to Hageman.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert and former University of Colorado President Bruce Benson are among the Coloradans supporting Hageman in the race. Hageman also received $500 from state Rep. Ron Hanks, an election denier who lost in Colorado’s  Republican U.S. Senate primary on June 28. 

Meanwhile, billionaire Phil Anschutz gave Cheney’s campaign $2,900, and Platte River Equity CEO J. Landis “Lanny” Martin and former Republican National Committee political director and FLS Connect partner Rich Beeson each gave $5,800 heading into the Aug. 16 primary.

Not all of Cheney’s Colorado donors are Republicans, however. 

Aspen School District President Katie Frisch, wife of 3rd Congressional District Democratic nominee Adam Frisch, gave Cheney $5,400. She’s an unaffiliated voter. 

Boulder’s Christopher Wirth, son of Democratic former U.S. Sen. Tim Wirth, donated $2,900. Boulder restaurateur Kimbal Musk, the brother of billionaire Elon Musk, also a Democrat, gave $2,900.

Cheney’s other Colorado donors include:  

  • Martin’s wife, Sharon
  • Billionaire Donald Sturm, the former owner of the Denver Nuggets, and his wife, Susan 
  • El Pomar Foundation Chairman William Hybl
  • Showtime TV producer and political commentator Mark McKinnon
  • Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei

Denver-based Unite America PAC, a centrist political group, gave $5,000 to Cheney’s reelection campaign, while Ball Corp. PAC gave her campaign $3,000, and Western Energy Alliance PAC and Holland & Hart PAC each gave the congresswoman $2,500.

Hageman’s donors, in addition to Benson, include Tatnall Hillman, a conservative mega-donor from Aspen, and Otter Products founder Curt Richardson, of Fort Collins, and his wife, Nancy. Boebert’s We the People Leadership PAC also donated $1,000 to Hageman.

The We the People Leadership PAC’s donation came before Cheney blasted Boebert in a New York Times article that published this week.

“I would much rather serve with (Democrats) Mikie Sherrill and Chrissy Houlahan and Elissa Slotkin than Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, even though on substance certainly I have big disagreements with the Democratic women I just mentioned,” Cheney told the Times.

Former President Donald Trump endorses Harriet Hageman for Wyoming’s U.S. House seat during a rally on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at the Ford Wyoming Center, in Casper, Wyo. (Lauren Miller/The Casper Star-Tribune via AP)

Boebert reacted on Twitter first thing Monday morning.

“To insinuate that I don’t love this country because I stand against RINOs like you is disgusting, @Liz_Cheney,” Boebert tweeted. You spent your last term in Congress consumed by a vendetta rather than doing something meaningful. You only know misery & insults.”

Hageman’s backing from Trump stems from the former president’s pursuit of revenge against Cheney for her 2021 vote to impeach him and her role as vice chairwoman of  the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Polling indicates that Cheney, a graduate of Colorado College in Colorado Springs, is likely to lose the Aug. 16 contest by a wide margin. A recent poll showed Cheney trailing Hageman by 22 percentage points. Trump won 70% of the Wyoming vote in 2020. 

Cheney outraised Hageman $15 million to $4.4 million through July 27, according to Federal Election Commission filings. 

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Sandra Fish

Special to The Colorado Sun Twitter: @fishnette