DENVER – Rep. Scott Tipton raised $378,000 in the first quarter of this year, a figure reportedly more than double the amount the Grand Junction Republican raised in the last quarter of 2011.
Tipton has $813,000 cash on hand to spend against his likely Democratic challenger, former House Minority Leader Sal Pace.
“It was a very successful quarter,” Michael Fortney, Tipton’s campaign manager, said in an interview. “It was a combination of fundraisers and Republican donors coming through for us across the state.”
Democrats say privately that the freshman lawmaker will lose his re-election bid. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee lists Pace as one of 18 “red-to-blue” candidates who will flip the district for Democrats. A Pace spokesperson did not return a call for comment.
Fortney expressed confidence in Tipton’s chances, although he stopped short of predicting victory outright this fall. “Voters in the 3rd District are rejecting Obama’s policies that have led to gas prices doubling, the national debt doubled, and unemployment has barely moved. We feel good about our chances,” Fortney said.
The campaign spent $70,000 last quarter. Most of the amount was for organizational and fundraising expenses, Fortney said.