CongressElection 2018News

Democrat Jason Crow surpasses $1 million in fundraising in battleground 6th Congressional District

Author: Ernest Luning - March 15, 2018 - Updated: March 15, 2018

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U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, left, a five-term Republican incumbent, and Jason Crow, one of four Democrats running in Colorado's 6th Congressional District (Coffman photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics, Crow photo courtesy Crow)U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, left, a five-term Republican incumbent, and Jason Crow, one of four Democrats running in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District (Coffman photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics, Crow photo courtesy Crow)

Democrat Jason Crow has raised more than $1 million in his run for the 6th Congressional District seat held by U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, the Republican incumbent, Crow’s campaign said Thursday.

The Aurora attorney and first-time candidate reached the milestone without accepting contributions from corporate PACs and received 82 percent of his donations from individuals, his campaign said.

“I’m inspired and humbled by the grassroots support from so many hungry for change,” Crow said in a statement. “Coloradans know we won’t solve our problems by electing the same career politicians who got us here. I have spent my whole life going where the fight is and with our growing support, we will bring the fight to Washington this November.”

The suburban swing district is shaping up to be the most expensive congressional race in Colorado this year — as it has been for the previous two cycles, when Coffman defeated well-funded Democratic challengers amid massive spending by outside groups.

Crow — one of five Democrats running in the suburban swing district — still lags Coffman’s fundraising for the cycle but appears to be on track to outpace nearly every other congressional candidate in the state in fundraising. (U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a six-term Democrat, also trailed Coffman but raised slightly more than Crow last year.)

Coffman, who is serving his fifth term, brought in $1.2 million through the end of 2016, according to campaign finance reports. Crow reported raising just under $800,000 for the year and was the top fundraiser among Colorado’s congressional candidates for the most recent quarter, edging out Coffman by about $35,000.

A poll sponsored by liberal campaign finance reform group End Citizens United, which endorsed Crow last fall, shows Crow ahead of Coffman by 5 points — a lead that grows to 10 points after survey respondents were told the Democrat isn’t taking campaign donations from corporate PACs. Crow has lashed Coffman on the issue, pointing to $1.7 million the incumbent has raised from corporate PACs since his first run for Congress in 2008. Crow also recently called on Coffman to join in a pledge to reject “dark money.”

Crow, an Army Ranger combat veteran, got some national attention Wednesday, the day after Democrat Conor Lamb appeared to have won a close special election in a Pennsylvania congressional district Donald Trump won by 20 points.

Noting that Lamb was a young veteran without a legislative voting record to defend, New York’s Jonathan Chait said the Democrat “cut a favorable profile in comparison with the lifelong politician he faced,” Republican Rick Saccone. “And there are a lot of Conor Lambs out there,” Chait added. He pointed to a list of candidates with similar profiles compiled by Axios, dubbed “unusually high-quality House candidates” who were recruited by national Democrats to challenge GOP incumbents considered vulnerable — and Crow led the list.

The other Democrats running in the district are clean energy expert and author Levi Tillemann, Aurora attorney David Aarestad, activist Erik Stanger and pharmaceutical and medical device sales rep Jennifer Diffendal, who filed her candidacy last week. Coffman is facing a primary challenge from Highlands Ranch Republican Roger Edwards. The primary election is June 26.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.