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Lauren Boebert trails Adam Frisch in fundraising and campaign cash as they head toward 2024 rematch

This combo image shows Democratic candidate for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District Adam Frisch, left, and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., right. Frisch and Boebert are running for Colorado’s U.S. House seat in District 3.
AP Photo
This combo image shows Democratic candidate for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District Adam Frisch, left, and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., right. Frisch and Boebert are running for Colorado’s U.S. House seat in District 3.

This story was originally published by The Colorado Sun at 4:20 AM on July 17, 2023.

Democrat Adam Frisch is amassing a formidable campaign cash advantage over Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District ahead of a 2024 race that could decide which party controls Congress.

Frisch outraised Boebert for the second quarter in a row, bringing in $2.6 million from April through June, more than three times the incumbent’s $818,000. Frisch, a former Aspen city councilman, lost to Boebert by 546 votes in November 2022 in what was the closest U.S.House contest in the nation.

Frisch had nearly $2.5 million in the bank at the end of June, while Boebert’s campaign had $1.4 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Boebert started off the 2024 election cycle with $771,000 leftover from her 2022 campaign, with an additional $1.6 million raised in the first three months of the year. Frisch began the year with $365,000 from the 2022 race, going on to raise $4.4 million in the first half of 2023.

In 2022, Boebert’s campaign spent $7.4 million, while Frisch spent $6.3 million.

Small donors and big money help both candidates

Small donors accounted for a significant portion of the fundraising by both candidates in the second quarter of 2023, with 66% of Frisch’s cash coming via contributions of less than $200, compared with 47% for Boebert.

But large donors, many of them from out of state, also helped both candidates fundraise in the first six months of 2023. Nearly half of the $1 million Boebert raised from donations of more than $200 came in contributions of $3,300 or more. That compared with 35% of the $1.6 million Frisch raised from larger donors.

More than one-third of Frisch’s itemized donations so far this year came from Coloradans, compared with 26% of Boebert’s donations. She received 14% of her itemized donations from Texas and 11% from Florida, while Frisch received 12% from California donors and 11% from those in New York.

Boebert’s campaign criticized the source of Frisch’s campaign cash in an email to The Colorado Sun last week.

“Aspen Adam will learn he and his out-of-state Democrat cronies can’t buy this seat, no matter how hard they try,” the email from an unnamed spokesman said. “Rural Colorado knows his liberal politics are bad for us and bad for the country.”

Frisch’s campaign sent a fundraising email Friday afternoon a few hours after Boebert’s campaign filed its report.

“Lauren Boebert is PANICKING,” the email began. “Brand-new fundraising reports filed today with the FEC show that Adam Frisch just massively out-raised Lauren Boebert again – without one dime from corporate PACs.”

Boebert received $106,000 from political action committees, including $11,500 from four sugar-producer PACs, including Western Sugar Cooperative PAC in Denver. Leadership PACs for GOP lawmakers also contributed heavily to her campaign.

Frisch is not accepting corporate PAC donations, but he received $7,050 from six Democratic or liberal-oriented PACs. Boebert also received nearly $44,000 from Republican candidate committees, while Frisch received only $2,000 from Democratic candidate committees.

However, Frisch will soon be fundraising with first-term Democratic U.S. Reps. Yadira Caraveo, of Thornton, and Brittany Pettersen, of Lakewood. They created the Colorado 2023 Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee, late last week.

Spending goes toward making money

Close to half of the $1.4 million Frisch spent from April through June went to buy contact lists and run digital ads seeking donations. Another $289,000 went to mailings.

Boebert spent only $405,000 in the second quarter, with 29% going to direct mail and 16% to fundraising consulting.

Helix Campaigns, a Washington, D.C., firm, received 57% of Frisch’s campaign spending. Rock Chalk Media of Grand Junction received 42% of the money spent by Boebert’s campaign. The firm is owned by Alex Chaffetz, brother of former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Caraveo leads among other Colorado incumbents

Caraveo finished second overall among Colorado congressional incumbents in fundraising, bringing in $451,000 in the second three months of the year and finishing June with more than $625,000 in cash.

Her 8th Congressional District is also among the most competitive in the nation, considered a toss-up by the Cook Political Report. Caraveo narrowly beat state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer, R-Brighton, in 2022. Kirkmeyer announced last week that she will run for reelection to the state Senate in 2024 and not challenge Caraveo again next year.

After Kirkmeyer made her decision, Weld County Commissioner Scott James announced he was running for the GOP nomination in the 8th District, Caraveo’s first announced competitor. He won’t file a fundraising report until mid-October.

The 8th District spans from Denver’s northeast suburbs into Weld County.

Pettersen, Colorado’s other first-year congresswoman, raised nearly $230,000 and had $277,000 in cash at the end of June. She has yet to draw a Republican challenger in the 7th Congressional District, anchored in Jefferson County, which Cook Political Report considers a safe Democratic seat.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, also faces no Republican opposition as of yet. People who have filed to run against U.S. Reps. Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette, Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, and Jason Crow, D-Centennial, didn’t report significant fundraising or spending in the second quarter of 2024.

Neguse returned a $2,900 contribution from indicted cryptocurrency executive Samuel Bankman-Fried.

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