Kennedy earns win in early fundraising
Money race heating up for Colorado’s top position
Democrat Cary Kennedy hit the fundraising circuit this spring better than anyone else running for governor, but her roughly $340,000 haul between April 1 and June 30 won’t be enough to give the former state treasurer any sort of advantage over her political rivals, according to new election reports.
The $340,000 she raised in her first three months on the trail is a far cry from the $633,000 winter quarter of fellow Democrat Mike Johnston, who added another $300,000 this spring.
And it’s unlikely to come close to what multimillionaire U.S. Rep. Jared Polis is expected to pour into the race — a looming cash deluge that started last month with a $250,000 check that the Boulder Democrat wrote himself.
Even so, Kennedy touted the results of her first fundraising quarter.
“I am honored to have the support of so many Coloradans across our state,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Thank you to all of my supporters. Together we will work to make sure every Coloradan benefits from the progress we’ve made.”
Her results, filed this week with state election officials, was about equal to the roughly $340,000 raised by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who last week ended his short-lived gubernatorial bid with the explanation that he no longer had the “fire in the belly” to run for Colorado’s top job.
But the fundraising challenges ahead for Perlmutter were no doubt daunting.
Colorado has strict rules on campaign donations as they are capped at a combined $1,150 for the primary and general elections for individuals — about a fifth of federal limits. Meanwhile, there is no cap on how much a candidate can spend from his or her own bank account, which gives an enormous advantage to hopefuls such Polis.
The vast majority of Polis’ $274,000 in contributions came from his own pocketbook, though the Democratic lawmaker has said he won’t accept donations greater than $100.
“Jared believes all Coloradans have an equal stake in our state’s future, and together we can build a people-powered campaign,” said Mara Sheldon, a campaign spokeswoman.
A similar fundraising dynamic is playing out on the Republican side of the gubernatorial race.
Businessman and former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell has more money in his campaign coffers than anyone else — having reported his cash-on-hand at nearly $2.7 million in late June. But nearly all of that money comes from $3 million he loaned himself earlier this year.
Mitt Romney’s nephew Doug Robinson, who is also running in the GOP primary, got into the game, too, with a loan of about $57,000. He added about $208,000 in contributions, according to his fundraising report.
George Brauchler, the prosecutor of the Aurora theater shooter, trailed much of the field with just $183,000 in con-
tributions last quarter, an amount that could make it difficult to compete with the race’s big spenders. That includes a roughly $12,700 transfer from his campaign for district attorney.
The Republican primary isn’t yet complete, however.
State Treasurer Walker Stapleton is expected to jump into the race, as might state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. Kent Thiry, the multimillionaire head of DaVita Inc., also is mulling a run.