By Ernest Luning
THE COLORADO STATESMAN
Democratic Senate challenger Andrew Romanoff raised $619,814 in the 2nd Quarter, according to figures obtained by The Colorado Statesman. It’s his best fundraising quarter to date but still leaves him lagging significantly behind the incumbent, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who reported raising almost exactly twice that amount in the quarter ending June 30.
Romanoff reported spending $657,454 in the quarter, leaving his cash-on-hand in the final approach to the August 10 primary at $464,340. The new figures bring Romanoff’s total fundraising since he entered the race last fall to $1,635,508.
Romanoff’s was the only Senate campaign to decline to release his fundraising totals to the public. Reports were due July 15 to the Federal Election Commission.
As in previous reporting periods, Bennet posted the largest haul for the three-month quarter among the candidates vying for his seat, according to figures released by the other three campaigns last week. The Democrat said his campaign set a state record for the number of individual donors to a campaign before the primary, posting 20,128 individual contributors to date. His campaign also counts more individual donors than all his rivals combined.
The total reported by Bennet for the 2nd Quarter was $1.24 million, bringing his total haul to $7.44 million. The campaign reported $2.6 million cash on hand.
Bennet’s 1st Quarter total was $1,405,177, including an estimated $675,000 raised during a fundraising visit by President Barack Obama in February.
Republican Jane Norton, who has led the fundraising race on her side of the aisle, announced she raised roughly $900,000, which was her best fundraising quarter to date. It brings her total fundraising since last fall to just under $3 million. Her campaign said she would report just over $600,000 cash on hand.
Norton rival Ken Buck posted his best fundraising quarter since entering the race more than a year ago, with $417,000 reported to the FEC. He ended the quarter with $664,000 cash on hand, which his campaign boasted was “significantly more” than what Norton had in the bank. Buck’s campaign also said 4,897 donors have contributed to his campaign.
As mail ballots go out this week to the majority of Colorado voters, all four candidates are pouring money into TV commercials, making the cash-on-hand amounts critical. Bennet’s $2.6 million dwarfs the $664,000 held by Buck, the roughly $600,000 in Norton’s coffers, and the $464,340 Romanoff reported.
This week alone, more than $1.27 million is being spent statewide on Senate candidate TV commercials and ads paid for by outside groups, a number that will likely accelerate in the two remaining weeks before ballots are due.