Election 2018FeaturedNews

Trump, Clinton donate campaign cash to 6th District rivals Coffman and Crow

Author: Ernest Luning - August 1, 2018 - Updated: August 23, 2018

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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are pictured in file photos taken during the 2016 presidential campaign. (AP File photos)

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are jumping into Colorado’s hotly contested 6th Congressional District race with maxed-out donations, according to reports.

The president’s reelection committee is contributing $2,000 to U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a persistent Trump critic, among around 100 Republicans receiving Trump campaign cash this week, McClatchy was first to report.

Clinton’s Onward Together PAC in June sent a $5,000 check to Democrat Jason Crow, one of 19 congressional candidates her organization is supporting, CNN reported this week. He’s one of 11 candidates challenging Republicans who represent districts won by Clinton in the last election.

The contributions from the 2016 presidential contenders land about 100 days until the midterm election, when Democrats will try to win the two dozen seats necessary to take the gavel from House Republicans.

A spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Trump’s contribution to Coffman came as no surprise, despite the image the five-term incumbent has cultivated as a Trump skeptic.

“In 2016, Mike Coffman promised voters that he’d stand up to President Trump, but now he votes with him nearly 96 percent of the time in D.C.,” Rachel Irwin said in a statement, pointing to a congressional vote analysis compiled by the fivethirtyeight.com website.

“President Trump is rewarding Coffman with campaign cash for being his most loyal supporter in Colorado. By making President Trump’s ‘nice’ list, Coffman has shown he’s working for Trump in Congress, not Coloradans.”

Coffman was among the first Republican congressional candidates to distance himself from Trump, including in an ad released almost exactly two years ago.

“People ask me, ‘What do you think about Trump?’” Coffman said in the 30-second spot. “Honestly, I don’t care for him much.”

A spokesman for her GOP counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Colorado Politics that Clinton’s donation to Crow’s campaign begs scrutiny.

“Jason Crow is bought and paid for by the Washington establishment,” Jack Pandol, western regional press secretary for the NRCC, wrote in an email.

“From Nancy Pelosi rigging his primary, to Hillary Clinton funneling him campaign cash, DC Democrats are desperate to get their man to Congress where he can return the favor.”

Crow last week said he was inclined to support someone other than Pelosi, the House Democratic leader.

The two candidates are nearly evenly matched in their fundraising totals for the race, which promises to be the most expensive in Colorado this cycle. According to the most recent reports through June 30, Coffman raised $2,375,00, while Crow brought in $2,264,000. At the end of the period, Coffman had $1,612,000 on hand, and Crow had $1,295,000.

A spokesman for Coffman said the Republican’s campaign had yet to hear from the Trump campaign or receive a check.

According to the McClatchy report, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a four-term Republican incumbent representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, also would be receiving a $2,000 check from Trump’s campaign.

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.