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The chair of Republican Cynthia Coffman’s gubernatorial campaign donated the maximum allowable amount this election period not only to Coffman but also to Democratic Lt. Governor Donna Lynne, who’s also running for governor.
L. Roger Hutson, whose role in the Coffman campaign was announced just last week, has a history of donating mostly to Republicans but to Democrats as well.
“I’m a Republican, but I’m happy to work on both sides of the aisle,” said Hutson in a statement. “Cynthia is my first choice for governor, and I support her 100 percent. Donna Lynne is a friend, and of all of the Democratic candidates, in my opinion, she would be the best Democratic candidate. I hope she defeats Jared Polis for the Democratic nomination because Jared’s policies and lack of leadership skills are a huge threat to Colorado’s economy.”
Campaign-finance records show that, since 2010, Hutson has given to, among others, former GOP Attorney General John Suthers, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, former state Sen. Amy Stephens (R-Colorado Springs), State Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D-Denver), former Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler, GOP Treasurer Walker Stapleton, and the Democratic Party of Colorado.
Such a history of cross-party political donations isn’t uncommon for a businessman like Hutson, who runs runs a Denver oil-and-gas business and was appointed by Hickenlooper to the Colorado Limited Gaming Commission.
Political observers were surprised that the chair of a campaign would be a top donor to two campaigns, one from each dominant party, during the same primary election cycle, but noted that the donations would have been even more surprising if Hutson made them during the time he was Coffman’s campaign chair.
Hutson’s last donation to Lynne was reported Dec. 6, about a week after he last donated to Coffman’s gubernatorial effort. He’d also given to Coffman’s campaign for attorney general last year, before he first gave to her current campaign.
Lynne’s campaign declined comment.
The Colorado Times Recorder did not yet conduct a thorough investigation of the donation histories of the campaign chairs of all gubernatorial campaigns, but if relevant information is found, this blog post will be updated.