Udall raised $2M in 1st quarter for Senate race

Democrat Mark Udall took in $2 million for his Senate reelection since January, his campaign announced Monday.

With the $5.2 million he raised in 2013, that brings his total fundraising to more than $7 million. The campaign said it has $5.9 million in the bank as of March 31, the deadline for first-quarter campaign reports.

Udall is  outpacing his 2008 Senate run, when he had raised $4.9 million through the end of March. In that race, he raised almost $12 million and spent almost $13 million to defeat former GOP Congressman Bob Schaffer, who spent $7 million.

Republican Congressman Cory Gardner raised about $841,000 in 2013 for his U.S. House race before switching to the Senate competition in late February. Gardner’s campaign did not respond to a call and email asking about his first-quarter fundraising. First quarter reports are due to the Senate and the Federal Elections Commission April 15, but candidates often release basic numbers before then.

Like Schaffer once did, Gardner represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, which encompasses the Eastern Plains, including Weld and Larimer counties.

State Sen. Randy Baumgardner is also vying for the Republican nomination, but will need 30 percent of delegates at Saturday’s GOP state assembly to make the primary ballot.

In 2010, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet raised more than $13 million in campaign contributions, including $530,000 of his own money. He raised almost $6 million through the end of March 2010 — $1 million less than Udall’s coffers this election year. Bennet’s GOP opponent, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, raised $5 million for the entire campaign.

Direct campaign contributions are only one part of the picture in Colorado’s high-profile Senate race, however. In 2010, outside groups spent nearly $30 million attacking Bennet and Buck, mostly via TV ads.

Already this year, Americans for Prosperity spent almost $1 million on anti-Obamacare ads focused on Udall in the past month. The Senate Majority PAC countered with $500,000 in ads attacking Gardner.