Senate Forum - all nine candidates

"We could be a chorus line," says Alice Madden, fourth from right, as she gives a kick at the conclusion of a candidate forum sponsored by local Indivisible groups for 2020 Colorado U.S. Senate candidates on Sunday, June 9, 2019, at Barnum Park in Denver. Alongside Madden, from left, are fellow Democrats Andrew Romanoff, Stephany Spaulding, Diana Bray, John Walsh, Mike Johnston, Lorena Garcia, Dan Baer and a surrogate for Trish Zornio.

The Democratic candidates running for the seat held by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner collectively raised more than twice as much as the Colorado Republican over the same period.

Between them, the nine Democrats vying for the chance to face Gardner in 2020 raised $4,554,089 from April 1 to June 30 and ended the quarter with a reported $5,127,293 in the bank, according to reports submitted to the Federal Election Commission before Monday's midnight deadline.

Widely regarded as one of the most vulnerable senators up for re-election next year, Gardner brought in $2,009,253 for the same period and had $4,919,791 on hand at the end of the quarter.

The Democrats might be outraising the incumbent at this point, but they're also spending their campaign funds at a rapid clip as the crowded field takes shape nearly a year before the June 30 primary.

Gardner, meanwhile, isn't expected to face a GOP challenger, so can stockpile a good portion of his funds for the general election in 16 months. 

Former state Sen. Mike Johnston, who announced his total early, leads the Democrats with $1,593,890 for the quarter — but it's his cash-on-hand figure that stands out compared to the rest of the primary field.

According to Monday's FEC filings, Johnston had $2,634,131 in the bank at the end of the period, more than the $2,493,162 reported by all the other Democrats combined.

Since joining the Senate race on Jan. 31, Johnston has raised a total of $3,399,964.

The fundraising powerhouse regularly set quarterly and annual records in his last statewide race, on the way to a third-place finish in the 2018 gubernatorial primary.

"My campaign is about the people of Colorado, and I’m honored for the grassroots support we have built since the beginning of this campaign," Johnston said in a statement.

Like all the Democratic candidates, Johnston isn't taking contributions from corporate political action committees. 

Democrat Dan Baer, who also released his rough fundraising total in early July, brought in $1,101,812 for the quarter, his first in the race, and transferred $243,726 left over from a brief 2018 congressional bid. He had $1,008,342 on hand at the end of June.

A diplomat in the Obama administration and former executive director of the state Department of Higher Education, Baer is touting his fundraising total as the highest recorded by an LGBTQ candidate for the U.S. House or Senate.

"I’m proud that thousands and thousands of people are rising to meet this moment with us because they believe Colorado and our country can do better than the failed leadership of Cory Gardner, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump," he said Monday in a statement.

John Walsh, a former U.S. attorney for Colorado, had the next-highest fundraising total, with $776,428 in contributions for the quarter, his first in the race, including $14,663 from his own pockets. He had $582,261 on hand.

Walsh received contributions from across Colorado all 50 states, a spokesman said.

“John’s campaign to repeal and replace Cory Gardner is powered by a wave of grassroots support that’s just getting started,” said Andrew Markoff, his campaign manager, in a statement.

Calling Walsh "a new face on the Colorado political scene," Markoff asserted that in the 10 weeks since Walsh joined the race, he "has become one of the leading candidates in a multi-candidate field. He has proven that Coloradans don’t want the same old, same old. They want change, and someone who’s going to take on a broken system and fight for them.”

Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff raised $502,890 for the quarter, bringing his total fundraising since announcing his bid in early February to $1,003,855. He had $730,281 on hand.

Pointing to a recent poll showing Romanoff leading the primary field, campaign spokeswoman Tara Trujillo said the campaign counts more than 1,000 volunteers and almost 4,800 donors from Colorado, accounting for 90% of its contributions.

“The Romanoff for Colorado campaign has focused its early outreach on building tremendous in-state support, and we are proud that thousands of grassroots donors in Colorado are joining our movement and throwing their support behind Andrew,” said Trujillo, the campaign's chair, in a statement.

“Andrew’s strong track record and message of fighting for universal health care, combating the climate crisis, fixing our broken immigration system, and investing in our public schools is clearly resonating with Coloradans."

Alice Madden, a former Colorado House Democratic leader and Obama administration official, posted $146,860 in contributions for the quarter, her first in the race, including $40,000 she gave her own campaign. The $99,194 she had on hand at the end of the quarter includes another $50,000 she's loaned her campaign.

More than 75% of Madden's donors are Coloradans, her campaign said in a release.

“We are so proud of the stellar campaign team and grassroots movement Alice is building," said Aaron Bly, Madden's campaign manager, in a statement. "With her proven track record of protecting our environment, helping working families, fighting for reproductive rights, funding public education, and taking on big pharmaceuticals, Alice has what it takes to build the strongest coalition of any candidate in this primary.”

None of the other primary candidates cracked six figures, though a couple came close.

Climate activist Diana Bray, a first-time candidate, raised $62,514, including $9,140 she gave her own campaign. With the help of another $10,000 she's loaned her campaign, Bray reported $26,008 cash on hand.

Stephany Rose Spaulding raised $59,483 and transferred $38,612 she had left over from her 2018 congressional run against U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, leaving her with $25,300 in the bank at the end of the quarter.

Trish Zornio, a scientist who has been crisscrossing the state campaigning for nearly a year and a half, was sidelined for much of the quarter after a family emergency on the East Coast. She raised $14,145 for the period, bringing her total to $73,288 with $21,332 cash on hand.

"It's been a difficult time for our family, and a challenging decision to step away from the campaign, even temporarily, especially after so much hard work," Zornio said in a statement. "But it was the right thing to do, and now I'm ready more than ever to fight for affordable, comprehensive healthcare for every Coloradan."

Community organizer Lorena Garcia took in $12,008 for the quarter, bringing her total funds raised to $26,154. She reported $444 cash on hand.

Economist Ellen Burnes withdrew from the primary on July 12, a few days after state Sen. Angela Williams, D-Denver, joined the field. Williams won't file her first campaign finance report until after the third quarter wraps at the end of September. Those filings are due Oct. 15.

CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect contribution refunds issued by the Johnston and Walsh campaigns, slightly reducing their fundraising totals for the quarter. 

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