The battle for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District is shaping up to be an expensive one.
Democrat Jason Crow, one of Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s challengers for the swing seat, raised more in campaign contributions than any other congressional candidate in the state for the quarter that ended the year — and Coffman came in third.
Crow, an attorney and Army Ranger veteran, reported raising $276,712 for the quarter ending Dec. 31. He was not far ahead of U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat seeking his seventh term representing the 7th Congressional District, who reported raising $252,877 — even though he has yet to draw an opponent.
Coffman didn’t trail by much, bringing in $243,530 for the quarter.
The candidate who raised the next-highest amount — $161,762 — was Democrat Joe Neguse, a former University of Colorado regent and the party’s nominee for secretary of state four years ago. Neguse, who had $278,219 in the bank , is one of three Democrats running in the 2nd Congressional District. It’s the only open seat this year, because five-term Democrat Jared Polis is running for governor.
Campaign finance reports for congressional candidates were due to the Federal Election Commission by midnight Wednesday.
Coffman, Perlmutter and Crow — in that order — also led the candidates with the most cash-on-hand at the end of the year: Coffman had $839,047, Perlmutter had $833,446, and Crow had $590,346.
Coffman and Crow’s fundraising totals dwarfed those posted by their primary challengers. Among the three other Democrats running, Levi Tillemann raised $59,042 and had $132,806 on hand, and David Aarestad raised $32,777 and had $22,677 on hand, while political newcomer Erik Stanger hadn’t filed a report by the midnight deadline. Republican Roger Edwards, an activist who hasn’t run for office before, reported raising $717 and had $15,582 in the bank after loaning his campaign $15,000.
Nearly three dozen major-party candidates — including the incumbents — have declared they’re running for Colorado’s seven congressional seats this year, making for a nearly full slate of contested primaries all around the state.
The Republican primary in the 5th Congressional District, where five-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn is facing three challengers, is so far the most expensive primary after the 6th District Democrats.
Lamborn reported raising $141,575 and had $515,137 on hand; state Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, raised $64,242 and had $217,329 on hand; El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn raised $28,682 and had $190,091 in the bank, including nearly a quarter of a million dollars he transferred in a previous quarter from his failed 2016 U.S. Senate campaign. The FEC site didn’t show a report filed by the fourth GOP candidate, retired Texas state judge Bill Rhea, after midnight Wednesday.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a Cortez Republican, raised $138,310 in the 3rd Congressional District and reported having $479,667 on hand. He’s facing a challenge from former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Busch, D-Steamboat Springs, who raised $75,727 and had $75,056 on hand. Another Democrat, Karl Hanlon, raised $13,902 and had $6,143 on hand.
In the 1st Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Denver Democrat, raised $121,465 and had $65,985 in the bank. She’s facing three Democrats in the primary while three Republicans have also filed for the seat — including 2016 GOP nominee Casper Stockham — but they all either got in the race after the end of the quarter or filed reports listing minimal contributions.
Of the two Democrats running against Neguse in a 2nd District primary, Mark Williams raised $18,170 and had $9,880 on hand, and Nederland Mayor raised $19,957 and had $10,494 at the end of the quarter. The Republican in the race, Peter Yu, didn’t declare his candidacy until after the end of the reporting period.
Although it’s the most crowded race in the state — with seven candidates filed to run — the 4th Congressional District contest is also so far the most thrifty.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, the Republican incumbent, reported raising $51,815 and had $385,352 in the bank. Democrats Karen McCormick and Chase Kohne, both veterinarians, raised nearly identical amounts — $37,292 for McCormick and $37,154 for Kohne. She had $54,657 on hand, and he had $17,512, including $10,000 he’s loaned his campaign. The other candidates had either reported minimal fundraising or hadn’t yet filed.