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Democratic attorney general candidate Phil Weiser tops $1 million in fundraising for year

Author: Ernest Luning - January 9, 2018 - Updated: January 9, 2018

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Democrat Phil Weiser, a former dean of the University of Colorado Law School and Obama administration official, is running for Colorado attorney general in the 2018 election. (Courtesy photo)Democrat Phil Weiser, a former dean of the University of Colorado Law School and Obama administration official, is running for Colorado attorney general in the 2018 election. (Courtesy photo)

Democrat Phil Weiser has raised more than $1 million for his campaign for attorney general, according to to his final 2017 quarterly report, and is approaching the modern record for total contributions to a statewide, non-gubernatorial race in Colorado, Colorado Politics has learned.

The former University of Colorado Law School dean and one-time Obama administration Justice Department official plans to report $897,000 cash on hand at the end of the most recent fundraising period, his campaign said. Campaign finance reports are due to the Colorado secretary of state’s office Jan. 16.

Weiser is one of five Democrats running for the office held by Republican incumbent Cynthia Coffman, who launched a campaign for governor in November. He’s the first of the attorney general candidates to release his fundraising figures for the quarter.

Weiser took in $263,276 in monetary contributions for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, his campaign said. That brings his total raised since May to an estimated $1.025 million — just shy of the roughly $1.05 million record set by Democrat Cary Kennedy for her entire 2010 campaign for state treasurer. Weiser’s campaign said he should surpass that number sometime this quarter.

His campaign said he plans to report donations from 991 individual donors, 86 percent of whom are from Colorado.

“For the past seven months, I have traveled across our beautiful state learning about what matters most to Coloradans and what binds us together,” Weiser said in a statement. “We enter this election year with an inspiring amount of momentum, which will continue to fuel this campaign to protect our freedoms and fight for opportunity for all.”

Weiser set consecutive records for his quarterly fundraising during the previous quarters last year and brought in more money for the 2nd Quarter than any other statewide candidate, including both parties’ candidates for governor.

The other Democrats running for attorney general are state Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton; Michael Dougherty, the assistant district attorney for Jefferson and Gilpin counties and a former top prosecutor in the attorney general’s office; Denver attorney Brad Levin; and Amy Padden, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado.

George Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District attorney, is the only Republican in the race. After campaigning for governor for most of last year, he switched to a bid for attorney general after Coffman got in the crowded gubernatorial primary field.

Colorado imposed strict fundraising limits on state campaigns after the 2002 election cycle, banning corporate contributions and lowering the maximum donation candidates could accept.

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.