Latest campaign finance numbers reveal who has the highest funds in Colorado’s congressional races

Caitlyn Kim/CPR News
Democratic candidate for Congress Adam Frisch at a meet and greet with voters in Montrose in 2022. He ran and lost against incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert for the 3rd Congressional District seat – he’s running again for the 2024 election.

Democrat Adam Frisch continues his streak as the strongest congressional fundraiser in Colorado, according to the latest campaign finance numbers.

Despite losing to Republican incumbent Lauren Boebert as his main foil in his quest to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District, Frisch reported raising $1.4 million in the first quarter of the year, with about $5.8 million cash on hand.

“My unwavering focus is not on Team Red or Team Blue, but Team CD3,” he said in a statement, noting he’s driven more than 50,000 miles in the district, talking and listening to voters.

While the haul is only half of the over $3 million he raised last quarter, it still dwarfs what the Republicans in the crowded race have brought in.

Grand Junction attorney Jeff Hurd, who got into the race last summer, raised over $240,000 and ended March with more than $525,000 in campaign cash. That’s well ahead of the Republican who got the topline at the district assembly, Stephen Varela. He reported raising $70,000. The Pueblo resident and state Board of Education member, who entered the race early this year, spent a good chunk of what he raised and ended the quarter with $23,000 cash on hand.

Former state Rep. Ron Hanks, who also entered the race early this year and came in a very close second place at the state district assembly, reported raising $9,130, more than half of which came from his own pocket. He ends the quarter with just over $5,700 cash on hand.

Meanwhile, Republican Curtis McCrackin raised about $16,500 and loaned his campaign $20,000. He’s currently running a $10,000 deficit after spending about $43,000 to collect signatures to get on the ballot. Lew Webb, who is still waiting to hear if he made the ballot, reported bringing in about $152,000, but $150,000 of that total came from his own pocket. He ends the quarter with about $130,000 cash on hand.

Russ Andrews, one of the first to jump into the primary last year, reported raising about $24,000. He got more than 10 percent of the delegate vote at the assembly and is still waiting to hear if his petition was accepted to get onto the ballot. He has about $127,000 cash in hand, but almost twice that in debt after infusing his own money into the campaign last year.

Seven months ahead of the general election, dollars pile up in Colorado’s lone toss-up district

In the state’s politically-balanced 8th Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Yadira reported raising more than $850,000. The Democrat has close to $2 million cash on hand going into what is expected to be an extremely expensive raise.

Two Republican candidates are vying to take her on.

State Rep. Gabe Evans, who has the backing of House Speaker Mike Johnson, reported raising just over $250,000, leaving him with almost $340,000 cash on hand.

Janik Joshi, a former state lawmaker, reported raising just over $125,000, but $100,000 of that is a loan he made to the campaign. He goes into the primary with just over $116,000 cash on hand.

Evans is getting a fundraising boost from DC. He was added to both Johnson’s and GOP Leader Steve Scalise’s joint fundraising committees, which should send more money his way to help close the substantial gap with Caraveo.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, running in a new-to-her district, brings in the most GOP dollars

The new numbers show the current 3rd  district representative was the strongest fundraiser among GOP candidates in Colorado. She reported raising more than $460,000 in the first full quarter since announcing her switch from the 3rd to the 4th Congressional District. The Republican, who snagged topline at the district assembly, spent more than $767,000 but has about $1 million cash on hand.

She tried some new approaches to bringing in money last quarter, including fundraising on social media, through the video app Rumble, and on X Spaces, formerly known as Twitter Spaces, with colleagues like Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert speaks at the Republican state assembly April 6, 2024, in Pueblo.

While Boebert’s fundraising lagged compared to her past quarters, it still exceeded her rivals in the district’s crowded Republican primary field.

Parents' rights activist Deborah Flora raised almost $198,000 and heads into the primary with about $167,00 cash on hand, while Logan County commissioner Jerry Sonnenberg raised about $158,000, but goes into the final stretch with just over $224,000 cash on hand. 

State Rep. Richard Holtorf reported raising more than $30,000 and ended the quarter with less than $100,000 cash on hand and about $47,000 of debt. State Rep. Mike Lynch reported raising $42,000 in the first quarter, but spent much of it, leaving him with just over $3,000 cash on hand. 

Businessman Chris Phelen, meanwhile, reported raising $88,000, including a $38,000 loan to his campaign. He also spent a lot in the first three months, leaving him with $8,500 cash on hand. Weld County Republican Peter Yu raised $31,000 and ended the reporting period with about $275,000 in his account after loaning his campaign $250,000 at the end of the last quarter. Phelen and Yu are both still waiting to see if they submitted enough signatures to get on the ballot.

On the Democratic side, Trisha Calvarese raised $40,000 and started the new quarter with $32,000 cash on hand. Calvarese, who is also the Democratic candidate for the special election to finish former Rep. Ken Buck’s current term in office, faces two other Democratic candidates who out-raised her in the primary race.

Democrat John Padora collected more than $195,000 but spent over $175,000. It leaves him with about $48,000 cash on hand.

Meanwhile, Ike McCorkle, who is making his third try for the seat, reported raising $786,000. However, he also spent $778,000 in the first three months of the year. He still has the most cash in hand of the Democrats, with $157,000 in the bank.

In the fifth district, Crank outraises Williams

Another Republican candidate who showed strong fundraising in the first quarter of the year was Jeff Crank. The former radio host and Americans for Prosperity staffer is running to replace retiring Rep. Doug Lamborn in the 5th Congressional District.

Crank raised just over $300,000 and ended the quarter with over $225,000 cash on hand.

He’ll face Dave Williams in the Republican primary.

Williams, the chair of the state Republican Party, reported raising $171,000. But a look at that figure shows Williams, who received topline at the assembly, put more than $100,000 of his own funds into the race. 

He ends the quarter with about $166,000 cash in hand and $198,000 of debt. Just under half of that debt is actually left over from his ‘22 primary bid against Rep. Doug Lamborn.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Lawyer and talk radio host Randy Corporon, left, with GOP chairman Dave Williams, at the Republican state assembly April 6, 2024, in Pueblo.

Two candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination in the district. River Gassen raised just under $30,000 but spent more than she brought in. She ended the quarter with $6,000. Joe Reagan, the other primary candidate, hasn’t submitted his filing yet.

In the remaining districts, Colorado’s congressional incumbents continue to have lots of campaign cash on hand. Democrat Brittany Petterson, who is headed into her first reelection race for the 7th Congressional District this fall, raised more than $360,000 and has $780,000 in campaign cash on hand.

Democrat Joe Neguse in the 2nd raised more than $310,000, leaving him with more than $1.7 million cash on hand. Democrat Jason Crow in the 6th raised $320,000 and has $1.6 million in campaign cash at hand.

The dean of the delegation, Democrat Diana DeGette raised over $110,000 and has more than $334,000 cash on hand for her reelection campaign to the state’s bluest district.