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This combo image shows Democratic candidate for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District Adam Frisch, left, and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., right. Frisch and Boebert are running for Colorado’s U.S. House seat in District 3. (AP Photo, File)

Democrat Adam Frisch outraised U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert by nearly $1 million in the first three months of the year and finished March with $257,000 more in the bank than the Garfield County Republican as the two head toward a 2024 rematch.

Most of Frisch’s advantage came from small donors giving the former Aspen city councilman less than $200 each, reports filed Saturday with the Federal Election Commission show. 

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Boebert beat Frisch by 546 votes in 2022 and their 3rd Congressional District race next year shaping up to be the most competitive U.S. House contests in the nation. A Democrat-aligned dark-money nonprofit is already spending money seeking to undermine Boebert’s image.

The 3rd District candidates’ fundraising far outpaced the money raised in the first three months of the year by other Colorado congressional candidates, including the state’s two new Democratic representatives, who have yet to draw 2024 opponents.

Here’s a more detailed look at the early fundraising and spending in congressional contests.

How 3rd CD candidates raised their cash

Boebert raised nearly $764,000 from Jan. 1 through March 31, compared with the more than $1.7 million raised by Frisch. Boebert’s fundraising over that span was less than the $846,000 she raised in the first three months of 2021, when she first took office.

Frisch had nearly $1.3 million in campaign cash to spend at the end of March, compared with a little more than $1 million for Boebert.

Nearly 61% of Frisch’s money came from small donors, and nearly $1.4 million was raised through the Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue. He announced in February that he was seeking a rematch with the controversial congresswoman. 

About 40% of Boebert’s fundraising came from small donors, less than the 61.3% small donors gave her in the first quarter of 2021. Her campaign raised $387,000 through WinRed, the Republican answer to ActBlue. She also raised $178,000 via joint fundraising committees, where donors can write a single check that’s split between several candidates or with political parties. 

Frisch has yet to team up with other Democrats to form such a committee.

Both 3rd District candidates raised most of their itemized contributions, those over $200 where the donors must be named, fromColoradans. Boebert’s other top donor states were Texas, Florida and California, while Frisch’s were California, New York and Massachusetts.

Two other Democrats also have filed to run next year to unseat Boebert. Democrat David Karpas put $6,000 of his own cash into the contest. Debby Burnett, a Gunnison veterinarian who failed to make the 2022 primary ballot, raised a little over $1,200 in the first three months of the year.

Spending money to raise money in the 3rd District

Frisch spent more than $823,000 in the first three months of the year, while Boebert spent $507,000.

The Democrat spent more than $274,000 obtaining donor lists from other organizations, while spending another $150,000 on digital ads. Some of those digital ads targeted potential donors in other states. The campaign spent more than $60,000 in credit-card processing fees, most of which went to ActBlue. 

Finally, Frisch spent more than $51,000 on fundraising consultants.

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Boebert spent nearly $146,000 on direct mail and nearly $99,000 on digital ads, some of which targeted out-of-state donors. And she paid nearly $70,000 to fundraising consultants.

Yadira Caraveo leads the rest of Colorado congressional candidates in fundraising

Democratic U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo, of Thornton, raised $351,000 in the first quarter of 2023 after winning a narrow victory last year in Colorado’s new and highly competitive 8th Congressional District. Her campaign spent only $75,000, and had $293,000 in the bank at the end of March.

Caraveo doesn’t have a 2024 opponent yet in what is expected to again be one of the most competitive races in the country next year. 

First-term U.S. Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, raised $218,000 from January through March, ending with $167,000 in the bank. Her campaign spent $59,000 mostly on fundraising and digital consulting.

Pettersen doesn’t have a 2024 Republican challenger yet, either.

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette, was the third top Colorado congressional fundraiser in the quarter, bringing in $285,000. His campaign donated $200,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

There is no U.S. Senate race in Colorado until 2026. Boebert and Caraveo’s U.S. House districts are the only of Colorado’s eight congressional districts that are considered competitive. 

Here’s a look at overall fundraising by Colorado congressional candidates.

Sandra Fish

Special to The Colorado Sun Twitter: @fishnette