CongressElection 2018News

Crow leads 6th CD field in pre-primary fundraising, but Coffman has more in the bank

Author: Ernest Luning - June 14, 2018 - Updated: June 15, 2018

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, left, a five-term Republican incumbent, and Jason Crow, one of four Democrats running in Colorado's 6th Congressional District (Coffman photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics, Crow photo courtesy Crow)U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, left, a five-term Republican incumbent, and Jason Crow, one of four Democrats running in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District (Coffman photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics, Crow photo courtesy Crow)

Democrat Jason Crow pulled in nearly $370,000 for the pre-primary fundraising period just ended, outraising U.S. Rep Mike Coffman, the Republican he hopes to unseat, by about 10 percent since April 1. But Coffman finished the period with  around $400,000 more on hand than his challenger as total fundraising in the battleground 6th Congressional District race soared past $3 million.

Levi Tillemann, who is running a lean campaign against Crow in the Democratic primary, plans to report raising more than $40,000. He shrugged at Crow and Coffman’s fundraising feats and predicted his grassroots campaign will prevail when ballots are counted on June 26.

For the period ending June 6, Crow raised $369,775, bringing his total haul since jumping in the race more than a year ago to $1,629,357 from nearly 6,000 individual donors, according to his campaign. After spending just over $332,000 for the period, Crow had $921,196 in the bank.

Coffman raised $331,123 for the period, his campaign said. After spending around $150,000, he had $1.36 million on hand.

Tillemann plans to report raising $42,660 and had $54,453 on hand after spending $80,126.

Congressional candidates are required to file campaign finance reports ahead of the primary election by midnight Thursday.

“I’m humbled by the grassroots support from Coloradans who are ready for new leadership that puts them first,” said Crow, an attorney and decorated Army Ranger combat veteran, in a statement. “In the Army, I learned to lead by example. That’s why I’m not taking a dime from corporate PACs. The people of the 6th District deserve a leader who will fight for them in Washington and get results.”

Coffman’s longtime campaign manager, Tyler Sandberg, told Colorado Politics: “Mike Coffman is working to win in November, just as he does every day for this district. That’s why he is getting things done and why voters return Mike to office no matter how much is spent smearing him on TV every two years.”

Tillemann has blasted Crow’s pledge against taking money from corporate PACs, pointing out that funds donated to his campaign by so-called leadership PACs run by powerful lawmakers are mostly funded by corporate and other PACs.

Tillemann told Colorado Politics he’s “the only candidate in the 6th Congressional District who has stood for the people and rejected contributions from PACs. Despite this, Levi for Colorado has built out a powerful field operation that is knocking more than 1,000 doors a day and a media presence that is driving the local and national conversation on critical issues including universal healthcare, school safety, corporate money in politics and corruption in Washington. The money may be with Crow, but the momentum’s clearly with Levi.”

National Democrats are pouring resources into the district in hopes defeating Coffman on the way to taking the majority in the House. It’s one of just two dozen nationwide won by Democrat Hillary Clinton but held by a Republicans and has been a top target for several cycles.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.