Monday was the deadline for candidates for federal office to submit quarterly (in this case, end-of-year) fundraising reports, which gives us our first good comparison for the candidates seeking election to Colorado’s newest Congressional district (CO-08).
As you can see from the chart below, the five main CO-08 challengers reported remarkably similar numbers from the final quarter of 2021:
Republican Jewels Gray and Democrat Johnny Humphrey are not included here. Gray had not filed her report as of this writing (she only raised about $15k in Q3 2021), and Humphrey reported about $5,000 in contributions. Barring some significant movement in the next month, neither candidate will play a role in the outcome of this race.
So, what did we glean from the first full fundraising period featuring the full deck of CO-08 candidates? Unfortunately…not much.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the Q4 fundraising reports is that Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine is right where she needs to be. We would expect Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann and State Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer to leverage their connections with the oil and gas industry to raise significant money for their respective campaigns, but that doesn’t seem to have happened yet. Kirkmeyer’s relatively-low numbers are interesting given that she has already been endorsed by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity; of course, this might also be a sign that most of the media buys for Kirkmeyer will come from third-party expenditures.
Kulmann and Kirkmeyer are presenting similar campaign narratives and courting the same type of supporters, while Saine is working hard to make sure that she is the rightiest right-wing candidate possible. If Saine can muster up similar resources to Kulmann and Kirkmeyer, she has a real shot of winning the Republican Primary in June.
On the Democratic side, Adams County Commissioner Charles “Chaz” Tedesco announced his fundraising numbers in early January. The Tedesco campaign sent out a press release today noting that it has already begun to reserve television ad time in advance of the June Primary.
The big money mystery had been about what State Rep. Yadira Caraveo would report for Q4; the fact that she waited until the last minute to announce her numbers had led to some speculation that she would be reporting a bad quarterly number. But as Caraveo’s campaign announced in a press release late Monday, she now leads all CO-08 candidates in fundraising (though she had a head start from being the first candidate in the race).
In short, the Q4 (2021) fundraising period didn’t provide much insight into how the race for CO-08 might shake out in the coming months. The next public measuring stick will come after party caucuses in early March.