Kennedy earns win in early fundrais­ing

Money race heat­ing up for Colorado’s top po­si­tion

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Mark K. Matthews

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.

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