Pettersen leads fundraising pack
Three Democrats seek to replace U.S. Rep. Perlmutter in 7th Congressional District
State Rep. Brittany Pettersen won the first money battle in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, surpassing the spring fundraising of two fellow Democrats — state Sens. Dominick Moreno and Andy Kerr — in a primary fight likely to determine who will next represent Colorado’s 7th Congressional District.
In all, Pettersen hauled in $170,195 between April 1 and June 30, much more than the roughly $100,000 raised by Kerr and nearly $85,000 gathered by Moreno since they announced their runs, according to campaign reports and federal filings.
“I’m proud that our campaign was able to generate so much early support and enthusiasm in the first quarter and I look forward to taking on Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress,” Pettersen said in a statement.
The 7th District race began this spring when Perlmutter announced a run for governor. He dropped out of that race last week but said he wouldn’t seek re-election to Congress — leaving the fight largely in the hands of the Democratic trio.
The 7th District covers parts of Adams and Jefferson counties and leans Democratic. It went for Hillary Clinton over Trump and, as of last November, about 35 percent of active voters were registered as Democrats compared with about 27 percent for Republicans.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn could be in trouble.
New filings with the Federal Election Com-
mission show Lamborn, a six-term lawmaker from Colorado Springs, raised about a third as much money this spring as fellow Republican and state Sen. Owen Hill.
Between April 1 and June 30, Lamborn netted about $73,000 in campaign cash — far below the $228,000 raised by Hill, according to the reports.
There was a major difference, too, in how the two men got their money. Most of Lamborn’s contributions — to the tune of $62,500 — came from political action committees, or PACs.
As is typical for challengers, Hill received far less, just $5,000, from PACs that represent companies or special interest groups. That came in the form of one $5,000 check from the American Hospital Association.
Much of Lamborn’s PAC money was tied to the congressional committees on which he serves: Armed Services and Natural Resources. He received plenty of money from companies with military contracts, such as $1,000 from Boeing, $2,000 from Honeywell and $4,000 from Lockheed Martin. Energy companies also contributed, including $1,000 from the Black Hills Corp. and $1,000 from Cloud Peak Energy.
Despite the slow quarter, Lamborn still has a lot more money in his campaign coffers. He reported a cash-onhand reserve of about $379,000 — much more than Hill’s $193,000, though hardly the imposing war chest that incumbents often boast.
Lamborn likely will need the cash to defend his Republican-leaning seat against two GOP challengers in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District. Darryl Glenn, who failed last year in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, has joined Hill in opposing Lamborn.
The incumbent’s campaign spending over the past three months includes about $5,600 in payments to Triple Star Services, a bookkeeping service run by his wife, Jean Lamborn.
It’s far from the first time that Lamborn has paid his wife from his campaign coffers — a practice that’s come under criticism before.
Since 2011, Jean Lamborn or her company have received about $94,000 from his campaign, according to federal election records.
Another Colorado incumbent, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, didn’t appear to share Lamborn’s fundraising troubles.
Coffman reported getting $352,504 in contributions between April 1 and June 30 with about half — just over $170,000 — coming from political action committees.
Among those PAC contributions was $1,500 from the Rolls-Royce North America PAC, $4,000 from the Honeywell International PAC, $1,000 from the Lockheed Martin PAC, $2,000 from the Boeing Political Action Committee and $1,000 from the General Dynamics Corporation Political Plan. All are involved in the defense industry, and Coffman sits on the House Armed Services Committee.
He had $505,572 on hand at the end of last month.
His Democrat opponent, Jason Crow, a Denver attorney, raised $287,581 in contributions with $20,000 coming from political action committees, including $2,000 from the PAC for Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, a fellow Democrat. Crow reported having $247,278 on hand at the end of last month.
Also competing for Coffman’s seat is Democrat Levi Tillemann, a tech entrepreneur and Obama administration alum who announced his campaign last week. Aurora attorney David Aarestad and Gabriel McArthur, who was a Bernie Sanders delegate, are in the race as Democrats, too.