AURORA | Colorado’s most contested congressional race this year is also the richest. Together, both candidates raised $6.8 million as of June 30, elevating the Colorado race to the sixth most expensive House race in the nation. Candidates will file their next financial reports on Oct. 15 and once more before November’s general election. According to The Colorado Statesman, it’s one of only eight races nationwide where a challenger from the opposite party has raised more money than the incumbent.
Pundits predict total spending for both sides to be as much as $25 million come November.
Rep. Mike Coffman, Republican
Sixth Congressional District incumbent, Rep. Mike Coffman raised $3.35 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission through June 30. Nearly 60 percent of that money came from individual contributions, and around $934,000 from political action committees.
Almost 300 PACs have donated to Coffman. High-profile donations include $10,000 from the Koch PAC, the committee affiliated with Koch Industries, headed by libertarian moguls David and Charles Koch. David Koch personally contributed $5,200 to Coffman’s campaign.
The Miller Coors PAC has given $6,000 to Coffman. That’s in addition to contributions from individual members of the Coors family. When adding up all of the individual contributions from Coors family members, that totals around $28,000.
Coffman has also been getting help from fellow politicians. A political committee for House Speaker John Boehner has donated $2,000 to his campaign, and he’s getting $4,000 each from committees for Colorado Republican candidates Cory Gardner and Doug Lamborn.
Other notable Colorado residents who have donated include tycoons Phillip Anschutz and Larry Mizel. Each have donated $5,200 to Coffman. John Elway, Denver Broncos executive vice president, has given Coffman $2,600.
All of this is in addition to money funneled in from PACs that include government contractors like Sierra Nevada Corporation, Digital Globe, Ball Corporation and Lockheed Martin. And money funneled from oil and gas PACs that include Halliburton and Chevron, as well as major telecom company Comcast.
Coffman has spent a little over $1 million on his campaign and has $2.3 million in the bank as of June 30. According to the filings, most of that money has gone toward fundraising and consulting, as well as direct mailings and staff salaries.
Andrew Romanoff, Democrat
Former state House Speaker Romanoff raised $3.45 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission through June 30. Nearly three quarters of that money has come from individual contributions and around $48,000 from congressional committees.
Romanoff has been receiving help from high-profile Colorado politicians. Sen. Michael Bennett gave $5,200 to his campaign, and Elaine Gantz Berman, who sits on the state Board of Education, has donated $5,200. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has donated $12,900 so far. Boulder Congressman Jared Polis has contributed $2,000 to Romanoff’s campaign, and State Rep. Lois Cort has given $1,300.
The politically-oriented Salazar family has donated around $1,850 to Romanoff’s campaign, when counting individual contributions. Ken Salazar, a former U.S. secretary of the interior, senator and state attorney general, donated $500.
Romanoff also seems to have caught the attention of Colorado’s alcohol industry, with $2,000 from the retired New Belgium beer founder Jeffrey Lebesch, and $1,000 from George Stranahan, maker of Stranahan Colorado Whiskey.
Nationally, Romanoff has received $4,000 from Nancy Pelosi’s congressional campaign and $4,000 from House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s campaign coffers. A committee for Polis contributed $2,000 to Romanoff, while a committee for Ed Perlmutter donated $4,000. The Democratic National Committee has in turn raised $10,000 for the candidate. Billionaire businessman George Soros gave $5,200 to the Democratic challenger. Other Soros family members have contributed an additional $5,200 to Romanoff’s campaign with individual donations.
A large portion of Romanoff’s individual contributions have come through ActBlue, a political action committee that operates more like a Kickstarter for Democrats.
Romanoff has spent less than $1 million on his campaign and has nearly $2.7 million in the bank as of June 30. Most of his spending has gone toward paying staff, and paying fees to ActBlue.