Last Thursday, in quickly responding to the release of fundraising numbers in Colorado’s state treasurer’s race I wrote:
Stapleton’s GOP primary rival J.J. Ament — who won out over Stapleton in our most recent survey of Colorado’s political temperature — brought in a very respectable $86,000. No cash-on-hand amount was reported, but clearly he is behind both his Republican rival and the incumbent Democrat.
Upon further review, there’s more to the story that could call into question my initial use of “very respectable” to describe Ament’s fundraising numbers. In that $86,000 total, about $9,300 came in the form of in-kind contributions (including about $7,300 contributed directly by the candidate). As a result, Ament was left with a little over $70,000 at the end of the third quarter — about half of incumbent Cary Kennedy’s cash on hand and about a third of Republican rival Walker Stapleton’s fundraising chest.
Ament spokesman Jesse Mallory conceded to me that Stapleton will win the fundraising battle, but asserted that their opponent likely would need more money to bypass the assembly and petition onto the ballot.
However, Stapleton says he is keeping all options on the table and hasn’t decided whether to go by assembly or petition. And even if he were to go the petition route, if the fundraising continues at the present pace it seems doubtful that it would nullify his campaign’s money advantage.
Interestingly, the dynamics of this state treasurer’s race are already much different than 2006, when Kennedy and Mark Hillman were vying to fill an open seat. A glance at the reports from exactly four years ago shows that Hillman had a little over $57,000 on hand, and Kennedy had yet to file her candidacy.
The drive for money in the Colorado state treasurer’s race is on a faster track than last time around (and maybe ever). While all three candidates are ahead of both candidates from the previous cycle at this point, by any measure Walker Stapleton is outpacing the competition so far.