Cory Gardner CFRW meeting

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., speaks with Republicans attending a GOP organization's meeting on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at a restaurant in Greenwood Village.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner raised $2 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, according to campaign finance documents filed Friday afternoon by the Colorado Republican.

While his fundraising lagged the $2.8 million brought in over the same period by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, his chief Democratic challenger, Gardner began the election year with $7.75 million in the bank, more than twice the $3.2 million Hickenlooper planned to report on hand at the end of last quarter.

"Senator Gardner's historic 2019 fundraising puts us in an incredible position at the beginning of 2020," his campaign manager Casey Contres told Colorado Politics in a written statement.

"His large cash-on-hand advantage over all of his far-left, Democrat opponents will allow our campaign to get our message out about all Cory has done for this state, while also warning Coloradans about how his opponents' policies will hurt hardworking families."

Ten Democrats are running in a primary for the chance to take on Gardner, who is considered among the most endangered Senate incumbents on this year's ballot. None of the other Democratic candidates currently in the race have approached Hickenlooper's fundraising chops.

Campaign finance reports for the fourth quarter are due to the Federal Election Commission by midnight.

Included in Gardner's total was $262,520 from political committees, including PACs, as well as proceeds from a joint fundraising committee set up with North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis.

Gardner reported spending $914,926 for the quarter.

His net haul was reduced by $59,985 in refunds to contributors, in most cases because donors exceeded federal contribution caps.

Gardner, who headed the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2016 cycle, saw his fundraising total drop by about 20% from the previous quarter, when he brought in $2.45 million.

Since he began fundraising for a second term five years ago, Gardner has raised more than $11 million.

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