Out-of-state funding fuels Western Slope congressional race
Alex Walker garnered national attention but few in-district dollars during first month of campaign
Downtown Grand Junction, Colorado on May 21, 2021. (Chase Woodruff/Colorado Newsline)
Political newcomer and congressional candidate Alex Walker has brought national attention, as well as national dollars, to his bid to unseat Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert.
Walker, a Democrat who landed on the primary ballot via petition, raised approximately $129,000 since announcing his candidacy for the 3rd Congressional District in late February, but it appears not much came from inside the district he seeks to represent.
Approximately $55,500 of that haul was itemized in his campaign’s recent Federal Election Commission financial filings, meaning the individual contribution or aggregate from the donor exceeded $200. Two of those approximately 100 higher-dollar contributions came from within the district, a $250 donation from Olathe and another $250 donation from Cortez.
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Donors from Colorado contributed approximately $20,800 in itemized contributions. That includes $2,900 — the individual limit per election — each from Walker’s parents, Cynthia and Sam. Sam Walker is the one-time chief legal officer for the Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Company and now advises Attorney General Phil Weiser in a volunteer role.
Colorado Springs developer and ardent Democratic supporter Charles Murphy contributed $1,000. Two current employees within the Attorney General’s office also donated.
Approximately 35% of Walker’s high-dollar donors came from Colorado.
Walker also received a large chunk of cash from California donors. Itemized contributions from California total approximately $13,000. Walker donated $1,000 himself and used a Los Angeles address for it.
Walker’s campaign said the largest share of contributions came from Colorado but did not provide more specific geographical breakdowns within the unitemized contributions.
“Alex’s campaign is building the strongest coalition to defeat Lauren Boebert,” campaign manager Amy Beihl wrote in an email. “His campaign has received the support of over 4700 individual contributors at an average donation of $29 from all 50 states with the largest share coming from Colorado. He’s proud to have a campaign powered by grassroots supporters that want to see common sense leadership that will deliver results for Colorado families.”
Walker’s campaign listed a $7,525 expenditure for petition signature gathering through a Florida-based firm. He also listed a $5,000 payment to the Colorado Democratic Party for voter file access.
Other fundraising in the 3rd District
It will be an uphill battle for any candidate, however, to bring in the amount of money necessary to front a meaningful challenge to Boebert.
She brought in approximately $838,000 in the first quarter alone and has so far raised over $4 million in her reelection bid.
Of her campaign’s itemized contributions over $200, approximately 38% of donors are from Colorado. Within all of her campaign’s itemized contributions, which in this case included smaller dollar amounts as well, approximately one-third came from Colorado donors.
Boebert’s significant expenditures in the first quarter include over $470,000 in media and $35,000 for travel.
Boebert’s Republican primary opponent, state Sen. Don Coram, raised more than $89,000 in the first quarter. Of his campaign’s itemized contributions over $200, approximately 90% of those donors came from Colorado donors and most of them came from within the district.
Coram’s campaign spent approximately $15,500 on petition signature gathering through the Grand Junction-based Best Slope Public Affairs.
On the Democratic side, Pueblo activist Sol Sandoval still leads in fundraising efforts. She raked in more than $264,000 in the first quarter, bringing her total haul since launching her campaign to over $800,000. Of her campaign’s itemized contributions over $200, approximately 45% of those donors came from within Colorado.
Sandoval was the only Democratic candidate to get on the primary ballot via assembly.
Finally, former Aspen City Council member Adam Frisch brought in approximately $231,000 from the first quarter, in addition to loaning his campaign over $1.5 million of his own money. Nearly 40% of the donors from his campaign’s itemized contributions over $200 were from Colorado, and nearly all of them came from the Aspen area.
Frisch spent over $60,000 to Landslide Political for petition signature gathering.
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