Republican Congressman Mike Coffman has raised over $350,000 in his bid for reelection in 2018, more than double any other Colorado congressional candidate. According to figures from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Coffman raised $352,857 as of March 31 as he prepares to battle Democratic challengers in the swingy 6th Congressional District next fall.
Second District Representative Jared Polis is second behind Coffman; he’s raised $172,094, though Polis has announced that he will be running for governor next year. More than a quarter of Polis’s money is from his own pocket, while Coffman didn’t report any self-funding.
Coffman’s district is regularly one of the biggest battleground districts in the country. He's a Republican, but his district voted for Hillary Clinton by a healthy margin last year. Coffman withstood Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll last fall in a hard-fought battle that captured national headlines. Distancing himself from then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and positioning himself as a moderate who would serve as a check on either Trump or Clinton, Coffman won the race by 8.9 points.
Coffman’s $352,000 is nearly identical to the amount he raised in the first quarter of 2016. Nationwide, House candidates raised on average approximately $192,000 in the first quarter of 2017, according to the FEC, putting Coffman’s total considerably higher than the norm, as would be expected from a candidate in a swing district.
None of Coffman's challengers have released official figures yet; Democrats David Aarestad, Jason Crow and Gabriel McArthur are expected to have raised sizable sums in their respective second quarters, the reports for which are due later this month.
According to OpenSecrets.org, a political expenditure watchdog, Colorado’s senatorial race was the tenth-most expensive congressional race in the country last fall, somewhat of a surprise considering that Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet had a perceived healthy advantage throughout the campaign cycle. Bennet raised more than four times what his competitor Daryl Glenn brought in, nabbing $17.8 million to Glenn’s $4 million. Bennet won the race by 3.9 points.
It will come as virtually no surprise to anyone in the Denver area with a television, a radio or Internet access that the most expensive Colorado House of Representatives race in the fall was, you guessed it, the bitterly fought campaign between Coffman and Carroll in the 6th District. The two spent more than $6.6 million total, with Coffman’s $3.516 million barely edging out Carroll’s $3.134 million.
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