Candidates In The Race For Cory Gardner’s Senate Seat Raked In Millions Last Quarter

Western Conservative Summit 2019 Cory Gardner
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado speaks Friday evening July 12, 2019, at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver.

Updated July 16, 7:47 a.m.

Colorado’s 2020 senate race is going to be closely watched, and the fundraising totals for this quarter hint that it might also be one of the most expensive races. 

Incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner raised more than $2 million this quarter. That gives him just less than $5 million on hand.

“Sen. Gardner’s strong fundraising quarter allows him to continue to build the necessary resources to defeat whichever far-left candidate the Democrats nominate next June,” said Casey Contres, the senator’s spokesman.

Monday was the deadline for candidates running for federal office in 2020 to file how much money they have raised.

The Democrats vying for the Senate nomination also reported strong numbers.

Former state Sen. Mike Johnston announced earlier in July that his campaign had raised $1.6 million dollars in this last quarter. While he’s raised $3.4 million since announcing his candidacy in January, he currently has about $2.6 million on hand.

Former Ambassador Dan Baer raised $1.3 million this quarter, and another former Obama appointee, John Walsh, who was U.S. Attorney for Colorado, raised $770,000.

“John is a new face on the Colorado political scene, and in just 10 weeks has become one of the leading candidates in a multi-candidate field. He has proven that Coloradans don’t want the same old, same old. They want change, and someone who’s going to take on a broken system and fight for them,” said campaign manager Andrew Markoff.

Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff’s campaign declared $503,000 in contributions. That would bring his war chest to more than $1 million.

Not all Democrats have fared that well. Diana Bray, a climate activist, raised just more than $72,000. Bray said she’s happy with that number, considering she has not been focusing on that aspect of the campaign. She expects that to change in the next cycle.

Community activist Lorena Garcia raised just over $13,000. Garcia’s financial director, Chis Meisner, said that comes from 354 unique donors. He is hopeful that as voters get to know her the fundraising will get stronger.

Trish Zornio, another candidate for U.S. Senate, didn’t release fundraising numbers but did release a statement about resuming her campaign efforts. The statement said her mother and stepfather were hit by a car while they were riding on this motorcycle in May. The accident took Zornio off the campaign trail for a while, but the statement said she was eager to return to touring Colorado and appearing at the upcoming Colorado Democratic Party forums.

Presidential candidates Sen. Michael Bennet and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also released their fundraising hauls.

Bennet raised more than $2.8 million since announcing his candidacy in early May and has $2.2 million on hand to continue his race for the presidency. Hickenlooper only raised $1.1 million, and currently has $800,000 in the bank. Both candidates are at the back of the pack, with many of the front runners such as former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg raising more than $20 million this quarter. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris trail just behind.