Former Gov. John Hickenlooper raised $2.8 million in the fourth quarter for his bid to challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner this fall. The fundraising haul means he starts the election year with $3.2 million on hand.
“These resources will help us to travel across the state and get out our message of bringing change to Washington and bringing people together to actually get things done on the issues that Coloradans care about,” Hickenlooper said in a statement thanking donors.
According to the campaign, the amount raised was the most in an off-year quarter for any U.S. Senate campaign in the state. Donations came from each of Colorado’s 64 counties, with 93 percent made up of small donations of $200 or less.
The strong showing highlights Hickenlooper’s front runner status ahead of the six other candidates that remain in the Democratic primary. All candidates have until the end of January to submit their end of year fundraising paperwork.
Colorado’s Senate race is expected to be highly contested, closely-watched and expensive, as Democrats seek to flip the seat from red to blue in order to help gain control of the Senate.
The eventual Democratic challenger will face off against a well-financed Garder. His campaign hasn’t yet released fourth-quarter fundraising totals. But Gardner pulled in $2.45 million in the third quarter. According to the Federal Election Commission, his campaign had about $6.4 million on hand at the end of the third quarter.
Melissa Miller, the Hickenlooper campaign communications director, said they’re not concerned about the difference in cash on hand.
“We’re raising the resources that we need to get out John’s message,” she said. “And we’re proud to have the support of grassroots backers and volunteers across Colorado.”