KGNU’s Robin Ryan follows the money in the 2018 Gubernatorial race.
The list of candidates vying to govern the state totals 26, who as a collective have already raised more than seven million dollars for their campaigns and the upcoming election cycle.
The only two contenders who have crossed the million dollar threshold for campaign funds raised are former state legislator, Republican Victor Mitchell of Castle Rock Colorado and Democratic Senator Michael Johnston from the 33rd district.
But with US Representative from Colorado’s second district Jared Polis having contributed more than four million dollars to himself over the course of his political career combined with his estimated net worth of 313 million as of 2015 suggest his third place position can likely be improved at will.
Five other candidates have raised a hundred thousand or more. Among them is a pair who actually campaigned against one another before. Current state treasurer Walker Stapleton defeated Cary Kennedy in the treasurer’s race, but for this contest, Kennedy has a six figure edge.
Half of these top eight fund raising candidates are their own number one donors. Other notable anomalies about donors suggest just four of the top 20 contributors to Johnston’s campaign are from Colorado and Kennedy’s top 15 donors are listed as ‘non individuals’.
Meanwhile candidates from the conservative side show a trend of legacy and familial branding with Doug Robinson, who’s dubbed a political outsider, despite he’s Mitt Romney’s nephew and Bush family cousin Walker Stapleton among the contenders.
Among the remainder of the baker’s dozen left that have yet to raise any money at all are a significant contingent of unaffiliated and off party candidates as well as former congressman and 2008 presidential candidate Tom Tancredo.
Tancredo raised over 14 million dollars during his decade long tenure in the house before gaining some notoriety as an avid critic of the Obama administration at the height of the Tea Party’s infusion of the GOP in the wake of the 2008 cycle.
Factors yet to weigh in on the scales of money in state politics include how the two major parties’ governors associations will decide which races to invest in. Nationwide, republican governors double the number of their democratic counterparts and to date the two entities have doled out a combined 430 million dollars to gubernatorial candidates throughout the country.
Information used to generate this report was gathered from the National Institute for Money in State Politics and the Center for Responsive Politics. You can learn more by visiting their websites at followthemoney.org and OpenSecrets.org.