Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, left, and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, right. (Peters: Sharon Sullivan for Colorado Newsline. Griswold: Faith Miller/Colorado Newsline)
Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold had a record-breaking fundraising haul during the first four months of the year, as she prepares to potentially take on a controversial challenger in the general election.
Griswold reported raising about $875,000 during the most recent reporting period, which was between the start of the year and April 27. That is a recent record for a down-ballot candidate, her campaign said.
Candidates for statewide office filed their first finance reports with the secretary of state’s office this week.
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Griswold’s largest expenditures were nearly $1.8 million with the Denver-based BlueWest Media for pre-election advertising buys. She currently has about $300,000 in cash on hand.
Her large war chest benefits from the lack of a primary opponent and can be focused on competing against a Republican opponent in the November general election.
Controversial Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who landed on the Republican secretary of state primary ballot through the assembly process, reported raising about $157,000. She filed her finance report with the secretary of state’s office one day after the May 2 deadline.
Her campaign reported an average $77 donation among about 2,000 contributors.
She spent about $54,000 during the reporting period and has about $102,000 in cash on hand.
Peters, one of the most high-profile and contentious Republicans in Colorado, reported a $1,320 expenditure to MyPillow Inc. for “airline airfare” on April 18. MyPillow is owned by Mike Lindell, a prominent election denier who assisted Peters after federal and state authorities began investigating her involvement in an election equipment security breach. Peters has since been indicated by a grand jury for crimes involving that breach.
Peters is out-raising her Republican opponents.
Republican Pam Anderson, a former Jefferson County clerk, raised about $50,000 during the reporting period. Some of that came from current elected officials, including a $2,500 donation from Mesa County Commissioner Cody Davis, $1,000 from Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman, $150 from Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis and $125 from Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.
Anderson paid Blitz Canvassing about $70,000 for petition circulation and signature gathering to get on the primary ballot. She has about $6,000 in cash on hand, significantly less than either of her opponents.
The third Republican in the race for the party’s nomination, Mike O’Donnell, reported raising about $3,000. He injected about $6,000 of his own cash to his campaign this reporting period, bringing his aggregate self-funding to about $53,000. He has about $38,000 in the bank.
Polis continues to self-fund
Incumbent Gov. Jared Polis reported about $5.4 million in contributions during the first four months of the year, $5.1 million of which he gave himself.
So far, Polis has given about $5.9 million of his own money for his reelection bid. While he gives chunks of his wealth over to this campaign, others cannot, as he limited his contributions to $100 per year per donor.
He spent about $600,000 during the reporting period, including $50,000 to a Washington D.C.-based firm for data acquisition. Polis, who does not have a primary opponent, has about $5 million in the bank.
Heidi Ganahl, a University of Colorado regent seeking the Republican nomination to face Polis, reported a haul of about $377,000. She put $150,000 of her own money into the campaign this reporting period. Since the start of her campaign, she has contributed about $400,000 of her own cash.
Her campaign paid Blitz Canvassing about $212,000, likely for petition signature gathering. In addition to that petition, Ganahl also got on the primary ballot via assembly. Her campaign spent about $521,000 during the reporting period and has about $200,000 in the bank.
The other Republican on the primary ballot, Greg Lopez, raised a comparatively small $36,000. He spent about $40,000 during the reporting period and has about $16,000 in cash on hand.
Danielle Neuschwanger, a former Republican contender who switched to the American Constitution Party for a guaranteed spot on the general election ballot, raised approximately $73,000. She has about $15,000 in the bank to build her third-party candidacy.
Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser raised about $512,000 in the first four months of the year and has a staggering $1.6 million in cash on hand. His opponent, Republican John Kellner, raised about $106,000 and has about $84,000 in the bank.
In the treasurer’s race, incumbent Democrat Dave Young raised about $100,000 and reported about $94,000 in cash on hand. His Republican opponent Lang Sias raised about $51,000 and has about $59,000 in cash on hand.
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