By The Colorado Statesman Staff
The official Federal Election Commission deadline for filing third-quarter campaign fundraising results is Oct. 15, but some Colorado campaigns have released their numbers early.
Typically, campaigns rush to release high fundraising totals and wait to release poor results. That’s not always the case, but it seems to be true for four of the major statewide campaigns that submitted numbers early enough to be included in this week’s issue of The Colorado Statesman.
Gov. Bill Ritter:
The campaign to re-elect Colorado’s first-term Democratic governor got a slow start in 2009, hauling in $117,855 during the first quarter. Results improved dramatically in the second quarter, which brought $408,539 to campaign coffers.
The third quarter numbers released by the campaign on Monday indicate it raised $452,881 between July 1 and Sept. 30. More than 1,800 donors made an average contribution of $200, and more than 1,300 contributions came from first-time donors to Ritter, according to his campaign. Ritter had not filed his Q3 report with the Colorado Department of State by Thursday morning.
“To attract more than 1,300 new donors — people who are new to the process — (to) make a financial donation in these tough economic times shows that people all across Colorado know Bill Ritter’s leadership is moving Colorado forward,” said David Kenney, Ritter’s campaign director.
• Q3 fundraising stats (as supplied by the Ritter campaign):
Number of donors: 1,873
Colorado donors: 1,694
Out-of-state donors: 179
Average contribution: $208
State Sen. Josh Penry:
Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, of Grand Junction — who is running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination against former Congressman Scott McInnis and businessman Dan Maes — also had impressive third-quarter results.
Penry, who announced his campaign about when the third quarter began, raised $416,059 between July 1 and Sept. 30. His campaign, which also hadn’t filed an official FEC report by Thursday morning, said nearly 1,500 donations had come in from 60 of the state’s 64 counties.
“Some candidates have the luxury of being owed lots of old political favors, and others have access to President Obama’s fundraising network,” said Mike Britt, Penry’s campaign manager. “Senator Penry has neither. But Josh does have a strong conservative message and a proven record of leadership, and that’s what resulted in a record-breaking fundraising haul for Team Penry during the first weeks of our campaign.”
• Q3 fundraising stats (as supplied by the Penry campaign):
Number of donors: 1,491?
Colorado donors: 92 percent?
Average contribution: $225
Former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis:
McInnis, a Republican contender for governor, raised the most of any gubernatorial candidate during the third quarter, pulling in $550,000. McInnis, who released his numbers to the Grand Junction Sentinel late Thursday afternoon, had not filed his report with the Colorado secretary of state’s office as of Thursday.
McInnis’ campaign said it collected money from 1,706 donors, of which 92 percent were from Colorado residents. McInnis entered the race shortly after the third quarter began in July.
Former Republican Lt. Gov. Jane Norton — one of eight declared candidates for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination — issued a press release Thursday saying she raised $505,547 during the last 16 days of the third quarter. Norton announced her candidacy on Sept. 15. The half-million dollar mark is an impressive start for the first-time senatorial candidate, considering the relatively short period of time she has been in the race.
“I am extremely pleased and gratified with the enormous outpouring of support since entering the race,” Norton said in her release. “Thousands of Coloradans have stepped forward to join this effort through financial donations and offers to volunteer.”?
Norton’s campaign said 587 donors contributed to her campaign, but did not indicate how many of were from Colorado or the size of the average donation. Norton went to Washington, D.C., for a fundraiser late last month that might have brought in a large portion of the donations.
Former Speaker of the Colorado House Andrew Romanoff became the only candidate so far to challenge an incumbent member of his own party when he challenged Sen. Michael Bennet for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Romanoff said on Thursday that he had raised more than $250,000 during his official 10-day-old campaign with nearly 1500 individual donors — over 90 percent of all donors were from Colorado. Additionally over 500 individuals have already signed up online to volunteer for his U.S. Senate campaign, Romanoff said.
Many of Romanoff’s donations — $113,489 — came to him through ActBlue, a political action committee that allows individuals and groups to channel their dollars to candidates and movements of their choice, according to the PAC’s FEC filing this month. In total, ActBlue funneled 813 donations to Romanoff in Q3.
Other statewide campaigns:
• Sen. Michael Bennet: Bennet’s campaign said it would file its Q3 report on Monday or Tuesday.
“We are happy with the support Michael received and the fact that we had more donations this quarter than in any previous quarter,” said Craig Hughes, campaign manager for the Democratic incumbent.
• Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck: The campaign for one of the many candidates for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate said it would file its Q3 report on Oct. 15.
“We’re excited about the outpouring of support that we’ve received from grassroots activists throughout the state,” said Owen Luftus, Buck’s campaign spokesman.