DENVER – Democrat Jason Crow outraised incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman in the final quarter of 2017 in the quest to unseat the five-term Republican from Colorado’s 6th congressional district, but Coffman’s campaign says it’s been in this position before and remains confident heading toward the primary season, with a big lead in on-hand cash.
Coffman brought in approximately $243,000 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, and Crow raised around $274,000, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
That brings Crow’s 2017 fundraising to just short of $798,000 and Coffman’s to just under $1.3 million. Coffman ended the year with around $851,000 in cash on hand, while Crow has approximately $590,000.
Democrats Levi Tillemann and David Aarestad, who are competing with Crow for the Democratic nominee, have $133,000 and $23,000, respectively, in cash on hand. Tillemann raised just under $58,000 in the last quarter of 2017, while Aarestad raised just over $16,000.
Coffman's Republican primary challenger, Roger Edwards, ended the year with just shy of $16,000 in cash on hand.
Crow’s campaign said its out-raising of Coffman in the final quarter represented “a sign of growing momentum” for Crow’s campaign.
“Voters are fed up with career politician Mike Coffman saying one thing in Colorado and then going to Washington to vote 95 percent of the time with Donald Trump and Paul Ryan,” Crow said in a statement to Denver7. “We’ve had enough talk, tweeting, and grand standing.”
But Crow, who was selected last year by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) “Red to Blue” program to target Republican seats, will still have to face the primary challenge from Tillemann and Aarestad.
He has faced attacks from his Democratic challengers and the DCCC’s counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, over what they say is the DCCC’s support of his candidacy and the “rigging” of the primary, as NRCC spokesman Jack Pandol and Tillemann’s campaign called it.
And Coffman’s campaign noted that his district has been called a “toss-up” in several years prior, but that he’s also soundly won the district in most of those years as well.
The district was also considered as being “in play” for Democrats in 2016, when Coffman defeated Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll 50.9 percent to 42.6 percent.
“There’s a growing chance that Crow won’t even be the Democrat nominee, so I might suggest he focus his efforts on his own primary,” Coffman campaign manager Tyler Sandberg told Denver7. “Mike is ready for the onslaught from Nancy Pelosi’s Super PACs, and focused on doing his best to represent every person in his district every single day.”
Both Crow and Coffman are military and combat veterans and have made veterans issues among the center-points of their campaigns.
Colorado’s 6th congressional district is comprised nearly evenly of Democrats, independents, and Republicans. Hillary Clinton carried the district with 55 percent of the vote in the 2016 general election.