ai express – In the last quarter of 2023, Democratic challenger Adam Frisch received over five times the campaign funds compared to U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert. It is important to note that this was before the Republican incumbent announced her decision to move across the state and run in a different congressional district.
Former Aspen City Council member Frisch, who came close to defeating Boebert in 2022, once again showcased his fundraising prowess in the recent filings of Colorado’s U.S. House of Representatives candidates. Frisch raised an impressive sum of nearly $3 million in contributions for the three-month period ending on December 31.
During the quarter, the Democrat managed to raise an impressive amount of funds, nearly equaling the combined fundraising efforts of all other congressional candidates in the state.
In a remarkable feat, Frisch managed to break state fundraising records consistently throughout the year, ultimately surpassing the total contributions of any other House candidate from Colorado in a single election cycle.
Despite facing a crowded field of Republicans vying for the nomination in her new district, Boebert gained a substantial cash advantage with over $50,000 in reported contributions at the start of the year.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo has emerged as the frontrunner in the highly contested race for the 8th Congressional District. In a strong show of support, Caraveo managed to raise over $600,000 in campaign funds, which is almost triple the amount raised by the three Republican candidates who had entered the race by the end of the quarter.
Candidates running for Congress were required to submit their campaign finance reports for the final three months of the year to the Federal Election Commission by January 31st.
Last year, Boebert made the decision to run for a third term in Congress. Instead of taking the chance of losing in the 3rd Congressional District, which she has represented since 2021 and is less favorable, she opted to seek re-election in the 4th Congressional District. This district, located in Colorado’s Eastern Plains, is heavily Republican.
The current holder of the 4th CD seat is Ken Buck, a Republican U.S. Representative who has served for five terms. In November, Buck announced that he would not be seeking reelection, which led to a surge of candidates vying for the seat, including Boebert.
The 5th Congressional District in Colorado, currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, will be up for grabs this year as Lamborn has announced his retirement after serving nine terms. Although the GOP primary in this district has become crowded with candidates, none of them entered the race before the end of last year. As a result, their initial campaign finance reports will not be filed until mid-April.
In the third congressional district, Frisch has reported a remarkable fundraising achievement, raising a staggering $2.98 million for the quarter. This brings his total contributions since the last election to an impressive sum of over $11.6 million. As of the end of the reporting period, Frisch still maintains a substantial cash balance of more than $5.1 million.
The amount of funds raised by the Republicans, who were challenging Boebert in the primary before she switched sides, pales in comparison to the impressive figure she managed to raise.
Grand Junction attorney Jeff Hurd amassed a total of $262,000 in funds for the quarter and currently holds $471,000 in his campaign account. On the other hand, Carbondale financial advisor Russ Andrews secured $31,000 in contributions and has a remaining balance of $238,000, which includes personal loans amounting to over $250,000 for his campaign.
Former state Rep. Ron Hanks, R-Cañon City, and State Board of Education member Stephen Varela, both prominent Republicans who entered the primary after Boebert’s announcement, are expected to release their first fundraising totals in April.
Frisch’s only Democratic competitor, Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout, withdrew from the primary just an hour before releasing her quarterly report. The report revealed that she raised $61,000 for the quarter and had $32,000 in funds available, with approximately $4,600 in campaign debt.
Frisch’s fundraising efforts have been unstoppable, thanks to a continuous flow of email appeals denouncing Boebert’s “angertainment” style of politics. It remains to be seen if this momentum will continue after the incumbent’s move to another district. However, Frisch begins the year with an exceptional advantage over his potential opponents in the upcoming general election.
Frisch has been claiming credit for “driving Lauren Boebert out of the 3rd Congressional District” ever since he lost his reliable partner. He is also suggesting the potential of flipping the seat, which has been under Republican control since 2011.
“After successfully gaining the trust and confidence of independents, Republicans, and Democrats in the 3rd CD, Adam Frisch’s campaign noted that Lauren Boebert recognized the inevitable outcome and chose to withdraw her campaign for the 3rd Congressional District, opting to relocate to another part of the state.”
In the last four days of the quarter, following Boebert’s announcement, Frisch’s campaign reported receiving over $100,000 in contributions. This indicates that her departure did not immediately halt the flow of donations. Frisch has managed to cultivate a strong base of small-dollar donors, with ActBlue, the Democrats’ primary fundraising platform, recording over 180,000 individual donations in the latter half of the year. The average donation through the platform was $22.88, as stated in their year-end report.
Boebert’s fundraising experienced a decline in the fourth quarter; however, she still managed to raise an impressive $540,000. This amount surpassed the fundraising efforts of any other Republican candidate in the 4th Congressional District by more than three times. Furthermore, Boebert’s financial position at the end of the year was exceptionally strong, with nearly $1.3 million cash on hand. In comparison, her rivals reported significantly lower cash reserves.
“Our campaign is grateful for the support of small-dollar donors who believe in and stand behind Congresswoman Boebert’s proven conservative record of defending our values in Congress,” stated Drew Sexton, campaign manager for Boebert. “With their contributions, we have a significant financial advantage over our Republican opponents as we enter February 2024. Combined with the Congresswoman’s dedicated grassroots campaigning, we are well-positioned to build on our successful start in January and further gain the support of conservative voters throughout the 4th District.”
Douglas County filmmaker Deborah Flora, who previously hosted a talk radio show and ran for the U.S. Senate in 2022, had an impressive fundraising period as a GOP candidate in the 4th Congressional District. She managed to raise $173,000 and currently has $133,000 on hand. Following closely behind is former state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, also a Logan County commissioner, who raised $154,000 and ended the quarter with $150,000.
Peter Yu, a former congressional nominee in a neighboring district, and a fellow candidate for the 2022 U.S. Senate, had a relatively modest fundraising quarter. Despite only raising $4,000 from donors, Yu was able to bolster his campaign with a personal loan of $250,000. This injection of funds brought his total campaign funds to $254,000, and with minimal expenses during the reporting period, Yu has a substantial amount in the bank.
House Minority Whip Richard Holtorf, a Republican from Akron, has raised a total of $71,000 for the quarter. He currently has $103,000 on hand, including a $38,000 loan from the candidate. Another contender, former state Sen. Ted Harvey from Highlands Ranch, has raised $41,000 and has $39,000 remaining in his campaign funds.
In the 4th CD GOP primary, there are additional candidates who joined the race after the reporting period ended. These candidates include former House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, R-Wellington, and former congressional staffer Chris Phelen. We can expect their initial fundraising reports to be due in April.
In the Democratic race, Ike McCorkle, who is running for the seat for the third time after two unsuccessful attempts against Buck, managed to raise $180,000 for the quarter and currently has $311,000 in his campaign funds. Another first-time candidate, John Padora, raised $38,000 and has $28,000 available for his campaign.
Caraveo, a first-term Democrat who represents Colorado’s 8th Congressional District, which is the state’s newest and most evenly split seat, disclosed that she raised $610,000 in the quarter and currently possesses over $1.3 million in funds.
In comparison, while state Rep. Gabe Evans, R-Fort Lupton, raised $170,000, which is significantly less than the amount raised by Lauren Boebert. Gabe Evans had $186,000 on hand at the start of the year. The other primary competitors, Scott James, Weld County Commissioner, had $40,000 in contributions and $23,000 on hand, and Joe Andujo, a first-time candidate, raised just over $4,000 in addition to the $216,000 he loaned his campaign. Janak Joshi, a former state Rep. from Colorado Springs, joined the race in late January and will report his fundraising after the current quarter ends.
In the state’s four remaining House districts, all currently represented by Democrats, the incumbents have raised over six figures in campaign funds for the quarter. This has further strengthened their already substantial financial resources. Although there are challengers for each of these districts, none of them managed to raise a significant amount of funds in the last quarter.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, who has served for 14 terms, raised an impressive $135,000 in the 1st Congressional District of Denver. She currently has $335,000 on hand, demonstrating her strong financial support.
In Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses Boulder and Larimer counties and extends into the scenic mountains, U.S. Representative Joe Neguse, who is serving his third term, amassed a substantial $194,000 in campaign funds for the quarter. As of now, he has an impressive $1.9 million in his campaign coffers.
Jason Crow, the current representative for the 6th Congressional District in Aurora, has reported raising $179,000 in funds, with a substantial amount of nearly $1.5 million available.
U.S. Rep. Brittany Pettersen, who is running for her second term, managed to raise an impressive $255,000 in the 7th Congressional District. This district spans from Jefferson County all the way down to Cañon City. Moreover, Pettersen currently has a substantial amount of $592,000 in her campaign funds.