DENVER—Contributions from labor unions, the health-care industry and business groups helped push Gov. John Hickenlooper to the top of the fundraising heap in the latest campaign-finance reports filed Wednesday.
Hickenlooper collected $422,198 in the fourth quarter of 2013 to fuel his reelection bid. Donors include the AFL-CIO, which has so far given $2,750; the AFL-CIO’s building and construction fund with $1,000, and several health-care political-action committees, such as $1,050 from the MedNax Federal PAC.
Meanwhile, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo led Republican gubernatorial contenders for the second straight quarter with $191,985. Secretary of State Scott Gessler logged $123,512 in contributions, while former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp also cleared six figures by raising $103,968.
Republican Steve House, a Brighton businessman who entered the race seven weeks ago, reported contributions of $139,256, although that included a $110,000 loan he made to his own campaign.
State Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray) collected $55,087. The five Republicans combined raised over $600,000, or about a third more than Hickenlooper, the only Democrat in the race.
Libertarian candidate Matthew Hess raised $116 and has $215 cash on hand.
The fourth-quarter fundraising reports, which can be viewed online at the Secretary of State’s TRACER website, gave some hints as to how various Republican camps are leaning as the race moves toward the April 12 state assembly:
- Brophy remains a favorite of rural Colorado, with a hefty percentage of his donors listing “self-employed/agriculture” as their occupation, as well gun-rights backers, with several contributions from supporters who work at gun shops or firing ranges;
- Gessler ended the period with $114,195 cash on hand, the most of any Republican candidate. His donors include former state Reps. B.J. Nikkel and Lola Spradley, Colorado’s first female House Speaker;
- Kopp is emerging as the choice of Republican heavy-hitters, with donations from ex-Sens. Bill Armstrong and Hank Brown, former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, Rep. Frank McNulty, and businessman Terry Considine;
- Tancredo received the most out-of-state support, which wasn’t surprising, given his national name recognition from his five terms in Congress and bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
While they didn’t overtake Hickenlooper, the Republican candidates were generally positive about their fourth-quarter haul. Kopp posted a message on Twitter saying that his campaign “beat our goal.”
As for Hickenlooper, he starts the campaign year with just over $1 million, the most cash on hand of any candidate.
“We appreciate the strong support from Coloradans across the state for our re-election campaign,” Hickenlooper said in a statement to Fox31. “We are proud of our record of problem-solving by reaching across the aisle and getting work done. We look forward to more great work in 2014.”