Two Wealthy Colorado Republican U.S. Senate Candidates Have Each Pumped More Than $500,000 Into Their – The Durango Herald

Gino Campana, left, and Joe O’Dea, right. (Documents)

Courtesy pictures

Democratic US Senator Michael Bennet raised $2.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2021

Two wealthy Republicans aiming to take on Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet in November each pumped more than $500,000 into their campaigns in the final three months of last year.

These personal loans and contributions put Gino Campana, a former Fort Collins city councilman, and Joe O’Dea, a Denver business owner, near or above the $1 million mark for campaign earnings from the October 1 to December 31. Four other Republican candidates vying to take on Bennet trailed the two multi-millionaires considerably in fundraising.

State Rep. Ron Hanks, a Republican from Fremont County, raised just $28,000 last quarter for his U.S. Senate bid, including $12,000 he lent to his campaign

Meanwhile, Bennet raised more than $2.1 million in the last quarter and ended the year with $4.7 million in cash in his campaign account.

Meanwhile, Republican and Democratic candidates running in the fiercely competitive 8th Congressional District have raised modest sums in the range of $100,000, while Republican 3rd District U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert, County of Garfield, went on to easily outperform all of his competition.

GOP Senate candidates start out self-funding

O’Dea brought in more than $1 million in contributions during his first three months on the campaign trail, $525,000 of which came from his own pocket. Another $57,000 came from people who listed his construction company, Denver-based Concrete Express, as an employer.

His biggest expense last quarter was the $100,000 he spent on TV advertising after announcing his candidacy in October. The campaign spent a total of $153,000 in the last three months of the year.

O’Dea’s net worth is between $17.5 million and $77.4 million, according to a Colorado Sun analysis of his personal financial disclosure.

Campana brought in $956,000, including $500,000 he lent to his campaign and an additional $24,000 he donated directly to his campaign. Many of Campana’s big donors were other northern Front Range businessmen, including executives of entrepreneur Hensel Phelps and Otterbox, the maker of cellphone cases.

Campana said it spent $171,000 last quarter, including nearly $39,000 on consultants.

O’Dea still had $888,000 in cash at the end of the year and Campana had $784,000. But both Republicans owed campaign contractors by year’s end. O’Dea owed four contractors a total of $127,409, while Compana owed four of its contractors about $21,000 in total.

They weren’t the only Republicans hoping to challenge Bennet who spent their own money last quarter or reported debt owed to consultants.

Conservative radio host and actress Deborah Flora loaned her campaign $50,000, and the $254,000 she raised included an additional $53,000 she donated directly to her campaign. She said she only spent about $33,000, but ended the quarter owing more than $46,000 to several consultants. She started 2022 with $471,000 in cash in her campaign account.

Eli Bremer, an Air Force veteran and former Olympian who was the first Republican candidate to enter the race, said he raised more than $153,000 last quarter but spent nearly $185,000. He had $178,000 in cash at the end of 2021. He has so far not spent his own money on his campaign.

FILE – In this April 14, 2008 file photo, modern pentathlon athlete Eli Bremer poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Weld County business owner Peter Yu raised about $73,000, spent $57,000 and had $157,000 in cash at the end of the year. He previously loaned his campaign $50,000.

The poorest results among GOP candidates came from Hanks State. Touted as the frontrunner by some Democratic operatives, Hanks loaned his campaign $12,100 and raised just $16,000, about 45% of that from donors of $200 or less.

Bennet, meanwhile, only spent $884,000 of the $2.1 million he brought in last quarter. Some 22% of Bennet’s campaign contributions came from donors who gave $200 or less, unlike his Republican counterparts.

Bennet still owes $375,000 in loans he made during his first Senate campaign in 2010.

Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colo., speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom, in Clear Lake, Iowa, during his presidential campaign.

8th Congressional District Candidates

Three Republican candidates and two Democratic candidates running in the 8th District each raised between $124,000 and $156,000 in the last three months of the year.

The new 8th Precinct is considered one of the most competitive American neighborhoods in the country. It is centered in the high-growth suburbs north of Denver, which have a large Latin American population.

Here’s a look at the top contenders:

  • Democratic Adams County Commissioner Chaz Tedesco raised nearly $156,000 in his first three months on the campaign trail, but spent about 44 percent of it. He ended the year with around $88,000 in cash.
  • Democratic State Representative Yadira Caraveo raised $155,000 and ended the year with $179,000 in her campaign account. About 20% of his donations came from those who gave $200 or less. Its donors included doctors, current and former lawmakers, and several lobbyists.
  • Thornton Republican Mayor Jan Kulmann raised $155,000, contributing $25,000 of his own money to his campaign. She spent little in the last quarter and had $154,000 in the bank at the end of the year. She owed $5,700 to a consultant.
  • Republican Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine raised nearly $133,000 and loaned her campaign $30,000. She had $129,000 in her campaign account at the end of the year.
  • Republican state senator Barbara Kirkmeyer raised about $124,000, including nearly $18,000 from state lobbyists. She had nearly $116,000 in cash at the end of 2021.

Third District Rep. Lauren Boebert speaks during the Western Conservative Summit on June 19, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency in Denver. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)

Olivia Sun / The Colorado Sun

3rd congressional district

For the fourth consecutive quarter, Republican U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert outperformed every other U.S. House incumbent or candidate in Colorado, bringing in nearly $808,000 for a total of $3.8 million raised during of 2021. The campaign had $2 million in the bank at the end of the year.

Boebert’s campaign spending last quarter included $3,523 at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas in early December and $1,623 at the Tideline Ocean Resort and Spa in Palm Beach, Fla., in December and early November.

  • State Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Democrat from Vail who withdrew from the contest in October after being removed from the district, which includes all of western Colorado and stretches east to Pueblo, had still $431,000 in the bank at the end of the year. She returned nearly $35,000 in contributions and raised $41,000 before quitting the race.
  • Pueblo activist Sol Sandovol was in the best financial position of Boebert’s other Democratic challengers, raising $208,000 last quarter. But she only had $56,000 in her campaign account at the end of 2021.
  • State Rep. Don Valdez, D-La Jara, raised $55,000 in the last three months of 2021 and had $22,000 in the bank at year’s end.
  • Colin Wilhelm, a Glenwood Springs lawyer, raised only about $10,000 last quarter while loaning his campaign $100,000, bringing his total loans to nearly $294,000.
  • State Sen. Don Coram, a Montrose Republican who announced a primary challenge to Boebert last month, will not report to the FEC until the next April 15 filing date.

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