There’s some big money in some of the 17 races that will decide whether Republicans will maintain control of the state Senate.
An early look back in January projected some of the key contests.
Today, let’s revisit the primary contests, along with the cash involved through May 2. All the candidates on the June 26 primary ballot (along with a few Libertarians and unaffiliated choices) have raised $1.5 million total so far. We’ll take a look at the hot general election contests later.
Here’s a look at the money in the hot primary matchups.
Senate District 32
Three Denver Democrats, whittled down from the original six, are facing off to in an effort succeed term-limited Sen. Irene Aguilar: Hazel Gibson, Zach Neumann and Robert Rodriguez.
The nearly $280,000 total raised in SD32 tops the list in Senate seat fundraising so far.
The winner will face unaffiliated candidate Peter Smith and Republican Mark Calonder.
Here’s a look at the primary candidate cash thus far:
- Neumann leads in terms of cash in the bank, with more than $91,000 to Rodriquez’s $57,000 and Gibson’s $6,100.
- Rodriguez’s money includes nearly $70,000 of his own cash, while Gibson loaned her campaign $14,000 (not included in the total raised) and Neumann spent about $6,800 of his own money.
Senate District 34
Three other Ds are vying to replace former Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman in this Denver district: Julie Gonzales, Alan Kennedy-Shaffer and Milo Schwab. The winner will face GOP candidate Gordon Alley (aka Pastor Gordon).
Here’s a look at money raised thus far:
- Kennedy-Shaffer loaned his campaign $15,000 (not included in his total) and spent nearly $8,000 of his own cash.
- Kennedy-Shaffer had more than $21,000 in the bank on May 2, compared with Gonzales at nearly $20,000 and Schwab at close to $8,000.
Senate District 7
Incumbent GOP Sen. Ray Scott, of Grand Junction, is facing a primary challenger in state Rep. Dan Thurlow, with Democrat and former Grand Junction city councilman Chris Kennedy waiting in the general election wings.
Thus far, Thurlow is outpacing Scott, raising nearly $33,000 to Scott’s $23,000. And as of May 2, Thurlow still has $28,000 in the bank, compared with about $9,000 for Scott.
One issue perhaps not at play: Thurlow was among 16 Republicans who voted to expel Democrat Steve Lebsock from the House because of sexual harassment allegations. Scott was the only GOP senator voting with Democrats in a failed April attempt to expel Sen. Randy Baumgardner on similar claims.
Senate District 2
Two Republicans, two Democrats and a Libertarian are competing to replace term-limited Senate President Kevin Grantham, of Canon City.
GOP candidate Dennis Hisey has outraised primary opponent Stephanie Luck by about $23,700 to $6,700. More than $3,100 of Luck’s money is her own, plus she’s loaned her campaign $450.
On the Democratic side, neither Beth Harz (whose committee is named Hart for Senate) nor Dennis Obduskey have reported raising any money.