Hickenlooper leads gov fundraising pack

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has five times the money to spend on his campaign as the total of his four Republican opponents, reports filed Monday show.

Hickenlooper also outraised the four Republicans from January to April 30, bringing in almost $963,000, compared to about $950,000 total for the other four.

Of the Republicans, only former congressmen and gubernatorial candidates Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo have more than $100,000 in cash on hand. Beauprez, who entered the race in early March, loaned his campaign $220,000. Former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp has only about $34,000 in the bank, while Secretary of State Scott Gessler has almost $56,000.

Here’s a look at what the five gubernatorial candidates raised in the first four months of the year and the amount they have in the bank (that’s cash on hand after expenses):

Such numbers are bad news for Republicans. They indicate that donors don’t see any of the four candidates as serious challengers to Hickenlooper, who defeated Tancredo and Republican nominee Dan Maes in a three-way race four years ago.

“People are not inclined to contribute money to candidates they don’t think have a chance in the general election,” said Robert Loevy, political science professor emeritus at Colorado College, earlier Monday. “That pretty much characterizes all four candidates.”

Money allows candidates to get their messages out to voters via television and radio advertising, mail fliers and telephone calls.

“You need a great deal of money to buy a satisfactory number of ads even on television,” Loevy said. “None of the candidates seem well-financed enough to use the medium which traditionally works.”

In fact, Democratic attorney general candidate Don Quick, secretary of state candidate Joe Neguse, treasurer candidate Betsy Markey and GOP incumbent treasurer Walker Stapleton all had more money in the bank at the end of April than any of the GOP gubernatorial candidates.

Here’s a look at the total raised and spent by the candidates:

With less than two months before the June 24 primary, a candidate would typically air introductory ads, Loevy said. But he hasn’t heard or seen ads in heavily Republican El Paso County.

“I live in the county where it should appear first,” he said. “There will be more voters voting in a Republican primary than anywhere else in the state.

“None of these candidates are highly qualified, major candidates, which leads me to believe there may not be much money spent in this Republican primary,” he added. “It may be a very unusual political event in a statewide race.”

Here are more detailed numbers on all the statewide races: