U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman surpasses challenger Jason Crow’s quarterly fundraising in Colorado’s 6th District

Author: Ernest Luning - July 14, 2017 - Updated: July 14, 2017

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, an Aurora Republican, takes part in a Spanish language debate on Oct. 4, 2016, at Entravision television studios in Denver. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, an Aurora Republican, takes part in a Spanish language debate on Oct. 4, 2016, at Entravision television studios in Denver. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, an Aurora Republican, hauled in roughly $364,000 in the most recent fundraising quarter, his campaign said Thursday, outpacing the $300,000 his Democratic challenger Jason Crow plans to report in contributions in the battleground race for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.

Coffman increased his fundraising slightly over the previous quarter when he raised $352,856, according to Federal Election Commission filings. He’ll report spending in the neighborhood of $110,000, leaving $505,000 on hand at the end of June.

Crow, one of three Democrats hoping to unseat the five-term incumbent, had $247,278 on hand at the end of the quarter, his campaign told Colorado Politics.

“Mike Coffman is honored to represent the 6th Congressional District and his hometown of Aurora in Washington, D.C., and his relentless work ethic is why voters continue to support him despite the (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) and Nancy Pelosi spending millions on TV trying to smear his name,” said Coffman campaign advisor Tyler Sandberg, invoking favorite Coffman punching bags. “While the DCCC has anointed Jason Crow, and Pelosi recently told a reporter she is a ‘voice’ for candidates like Jason Crow in Colorado’s 6th Congressional district, the only voice that matters to Mike Coffman is his constituents.”

Sandberg was referring to the interest national Democrats have taken in defeating Coffman since the suburban district was redrawn before the 2012 election into a swing seat with roughly equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters.

He also pointed out that Coffman’s previous two challengers — former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, and former Senate President Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora — out-raised Crow during their initial quarters in the congressional race, with Romanoff banking just over $500,000 and Carroll bringing in about $377,000.

In what has become a familiar routine, however, Crow’s campaign manager saw Sandberg’s smack talk and raised him one, throwing the fundraising comparison back at the incumbent.

“It’s not very impressive that a career politician like Coffman can’t meet the standard he is trying to set for a first-time candidate like Jason,” Alex Ball told Colorado Politics. “He must have been too busy voting 95 percent of the time with Donald Trump and ducking out of back doors to avoid his constituents.”

She was referring to an incident earlier this year that lit up social media when Coffman left a series of meetings with constituents at an Aurora library a few minutes ahead of schedule.

Not to be outdone, Sandberg kept things going with a dig at Crow’s status as a longtime resident of Denver, a stone’s throw outside the 6th District’s boundaries.

“A bit of free advice to Jason Crow,” Sandberg said. “You’re not allowed to use campaign funds to pay for moving expenses.”

Ramsey Scott of the Aurora Sentinel reported Wednesday that Crow is in the process of moving into Aurora from Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood and should be able to vote for himself by the end of the year.

Campaign finance reports covering the second quarter — April through June — are due to the FEC by July 15. A Coffman campaign spokesman said his full report wasn’t yet available.

One of the other two Democrats running for the seat, attorney David Aarestad, hadn’t filed his report at press time. The other, Levi Tillemann, didn’t officially enter the race until Sunday, nine days into the third quarter, and won’t be be required to file a report until Oct. 15. (Bernie Sanders supporter Gabriel McArthur, who announced his candidacy late last year, said Wednesday night that he was withdrawing from the congressional race and would instead run for Colorado secretary of state.)

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.