Colorado governor's race continues to attract big donations, spending in latest quarter

Stapleton raises $750K; Kennedy raises $274K

DENVER – As candidates for Colorado’s governorship begin to petition to get onto the ballot, new fundraising numbers are showing how the race might shape up as it heads into full-swing campaign season.

Individual contributions in the race reached $10.7 million after the latest filings, and PAC money puts the number closer to $13 million. Candidates themselves has so far spent just over $5 million on the race.

Several candidates donated to their own campaigns in the latest reporting period: Democrat Jared Polis loaned himself $750,000; Republican Walker Stapleton gave his campaign $250,000; Republican Doug Robinson loaned his campaign nearly $243,000; Democrat Noel Ginsburg gave his campaign $190,000; and Democrat Donna Lynne loaned her campaign $60,000.

Polis has already given his campaign $1.4 million, though his campaign has celebrated not taking PAC money or individual contributions larger than $100.

See how this quarter's numbers line up with last quarter's numbers.

Walker Stapleton won the latest fundraising round, bringing in more than $747,000 in contributions aside from his personal loan. Cary Kennedy was the top fundraiser among Democrats in the quarter, bringing in $274,395.

But Democrat Mike Johnston wasn’t far behind Kennedy, bringing in $254,836 during the period.

Polis was the top spender during the last quarter. He spent $655,327 during the quarter—nearly $410,000 more than any other candidate.

But Republican Victor Mitchell, who gave his campaign a $3 million loan last year, ended the quarter with the most cash on hand, with nearly $2.2 million still in the bank. Stapleton still has nearly $900,000 in cash, while Johnston has $732,399.

Robinson made the loan to himself while raising just $77,814, while Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R) raised just under $100,000. Noel Ginsburg raised just under $35,000 in addition to his personal contribution to his own campaign.

PACs involved in the race remained active, and a new PAC expected to support Coffman, Stronger Colorado Ahead, raised $157,000 during the period. The PAC backing Stapleton, Better Colorado Now, brought in an additional $33,000 to bring its cash total to $738,000.

Build Colorado Now, which backs Robinson, and Frontier Fairness, which is expected to support Johnston, also remained active during the latest quarter. The PACs are not, however, allowed to coordinate with the campaigns on how they spend money.

Stapleton was among more than 20 candidates across all statewide races who originally faced a $50 fine because of late filings, but the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office said Thursday neither Stapleton nor any of the others fined will have to pay the $50.

The office said there were computer errors that affected the campaigns, which were trying to amend major contributor reports from the previous reporting period. The reports were being amended due to new rules passed by the legislature in 2016 that changed new major contribution campaign reporting rules.

The office said it was working with those campaigns and that the error wouldn’t happen again.

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