Udall’s Plea to Donors Spurred Cash Haul

July 16, 2014

WASHINGTON – Democratic Sen. Mark Udall’s last-minute plea to donors might have helped him outraise his Republican opponent Rep. Cory Gardner in the second quarter of this year.

Udall raised $1.4 million in the last two weeks of June compared to a total of $1.74 million in the previous 11 weeks. Udall’s total donations were $3.1 million from April 1 to June 30, according to Udall campaign officials.

“NEW POLL: We’re trailing Gardner,” Udall wrote to potential donors and supporters in a June 13 email. “With the ever important June 30 FEC deadline approaching, Congressman Gardner will use this poll to show his supporters he can win this U.S. Senate race.”

Udall’s message referred to a poll from the National Mining Association that showed Gardner ahead by two percentage points. Udall’s campaign staff seized on the poll numbers to underscore the urgency of donating to the state’s senior senator.

Adam Dunstone, Udall’s campaign manager, continued to emphasize the campaign’s theme that Udall is facing a mortal threat to his 15-year career in Washington. “We’re seeing daily attacks from Congressman Gardner’s campaign with state and national Republican Party organizations,” Dunstone wrote in a memo released to the media.

Gardner raised $2.7 million in the second quarter, according to his campaign.
“It’s clear that Coloradans are energetic and ready for a new generation of leadership in the Senate,” Gardner wrote to supporters last week.

Although Udall’s total raised for this election has topped $12 million, his most recent haul gives him $5.9 million cash on hand compared to Gardner’s $3.4 million.

Udall, who turns 64 on Friday, is seeking a second six-year term in the upper chamber. He represented the 2nd Congressional District in and around Boulder from 1999 to 2009. Gardner, 39, has represented the 4th Congressional District in and around his hometown of Yuma in central and eastern Colorado since 2011.

Gardner, a rising star in the Republican Party, entered the race little more than eight months before Election Day. On February 26, The Denver Post broke the news that Gardner would run for the Colorado Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. On March 1, Gardner announced he would be a candidate at the Denver Lumber Co.

Both campaigns have picked up the fundraising pace. Udall raised more than $2 million in the first quarter of the year, while Gardner netted $1.4 million.

Outside organizations on the right and left have influenced the race already and are expected to exert more sway.

Dunstone predicted the first-term incumbent will “raise more (money) than any Senate candidate in state history” and would build “the largest field organization Colorado has ever seen in a mid-term campaign,” according to Politico.

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