Johnston Raises Big Bucks Against Gardner

Former Sen. Michael Johnston.

RealVail reports on the big fundraising numbers just reported by Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michael Johnston, one of a growing pack of contenders itching to take on vulnerable GOP incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner next year:

Vail native and now Denver resident Mike Johnston, who says he’s not accepting any donations from political action committees, set a new record for of $1.8 million for the first quarter of 2019 as he seeks the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.

The Johnston campaign claims that total, which must be fully reported in detail to the Federal Election Commission by April 15, is “the most ever raised in Colorado by a non-incumbent in their initial quarter.”

That’s a head-turning pile of money any way you slice it, and a strong indicator of the excitement among Democrats looking to flip this seat back to blue in a state that looks politically conducive to doing just that in 2020. One caveat we’ll note in the particular case of Johnston, whose out-of-state financial support from the corporate education reform crowd in previous races has been good for a splashy initial showing but then leveled off as the campaign progressed.

That means we’ll be watching for both sustained financial support as well as signs of bonafide local momentum to underpin Johnston’s big initial fundraising haul. With that said, Johnston has set the bar very high for this marquee 2020 race–and it needs to be, in order to start winnowing down what’s become an unwieldy pack of candidates.

But the real takeaway is the big, earnest money out there to take on Cory Gardner.

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  1. 2Jung2Die2Jung2Die says:

    I'm agnostic on this race so far, but not exactly blushing like a schoolgirl with a crush on the Monkees' Davy Jones over MJ's messaging to us that raising $1.8 million without PAC money is somehow equivalent to an assortment of thousands of ordinary hardworking Coloradans cleaning out their piggy banks. Well, that's how I read what he's trying to tell us anyway.

  2. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    The inside / outside Colorado numbers are going to be interesting.  I'll also be looking at the number of donors, and the number of donors under $100 or $200 dollars, indicating Johnston can go back to them.

    It gives those considering the race an important measuring stick — can they raise enough quickly enough to be competitive?   Since not everyone is in, the fundraising report in July is going to be much more of an indicator.

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