Stapleton donates $250k to his campaign for Colorado governor

Author: Joey Bunch - October 13, 2017 - Updated: October 13, 2017

Walker Stapleton
Walker Stapleton is the latest candidate to join the 2018 Colorado gubernatorial race. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett/Colorado Springs Gazette)


Aha, Colorado voters got their first official look at Walker Stapleton’s direct and immediate donors Thursday, if they have no life and they were reading the Colorado Secretary of State’s website at 6:45 p.m., when it showed up.

And there’s $250,000 that the state treasurer is putting into his own race for governor, even though indications are he’ll be generously supported by the well-known state Republicans.

The disclosure is the product of a goof.

In 2016 House Bill 1282 was meant to require daily reporting on late-game donations in school board races, but when it became law it inadvertently looped in statewide races. As a result, candidates for governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer have to immediately send in their donations of more than $1,000 instead of putting them on a single comprehensive report of donors due in January.

The governor hasn’t called a special session to fix it.

Stapleton’s alleged super-PAC is unquestionably packed with cash

Stapleton has turned in a handful of $1,000-and-up donations since he started fundraising on Oct. 1, including one from car dealer Mike Shaw at $1,150, but the big piece of pie was his own contribution to the race. He officially announced his intention to run just about three weeks ago, which Colorado Politics was the first to report.

“Walker is committed to beating Congressman (Jared) Polis and saving hardworking Colorado families from the Congressman’s inane plans to run the energy industry out of Colorado and force all Coloradans onto government-run healthcare,” his campaign consultant Michael Fortney told Colorado Politics Thursday night.

“Walker has a strong grassroots organization, a proven ability to raise the funds necessary to win in November, and the commitment to invest his own money to protect our state.”

He faces a large field of Republicans before he would have the chance to face Polis, the sitting U.S. House member, who has his own crowded primary to contend with.

Stapleton faces Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, entrepreneur Victor Mitchell, retired investment banker Doug Robinson among a total of seven primary opponents.

Polis has eight opponents in the Democratic primary for office being vacated by Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited. The field includes Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy and former state Sen. Michael Johnston.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.