Democrat Adam Frisch has widened his campaign cash advantage over Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, outraising her by a factor of nearly four from July through September.

Frisch, a former Aspen City councilman who nearly unseated the Garfield County congresswoman in 2022, raised nearly $3.4 million during the quarter compared with Boebert’s $854,000. Frisch had nearly $3 million more in campaign cash than Boebert at the start of October.

Frisch isn’t Boebert’s only reelection threat, however.

Republican Jeff Hurd, a Grand Junction lawyer challenging Boebert in the 2024 GOP primary in the 3rd District, raised more than $412,000 in the third quarter of 2023 after announcing his campaign in late August. His donors include a number of prominent Colorado Republicans, while much of Boebert’s money came from donors who gave less than $200.

In Colorado’s 8th Congressional District, the state’s other 2022 U.S. House battleground, U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Thornton, outraised both of her two GOP challengers from July through September.

Here’s a deeper look at quarterly campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission:

Frisch takes significant lead in 3rd CD

Boebert beat Frisch by only 546 votes in 2022, making the 3rd District race, which spans the Western Slope into Pueblo and southeastern Colorado, the closest House contest in the country last year.

Of the $3.4 million Frisch raised, 65% are from donors giving less than $200, compared with Boebert, who raised 58% from small donors.

Frisch has raised $8.6 million total this year, and July 1 through Sept. 30 was his best fundraising quarter yet. Frisch has spent nearly $4.9 million, but still has $4.3 million in the bank to start October.

Boebert, meanwhile, has raised $3.2 million this year, while spending nearly $2.3 million. She had $1.4 million in her campaign account at the end of September.

Frisch also outspent Boebert in the third quarter at $1.5 million to her $861,000. Both candidates are spending heavily on their campaigns’ fundraising efforts.

Nearly half of Frisch’s spending went toward acquiring lists of potential donors and digital ads to attract their money. He paid Glenwood Springs attorney Cole Buerger more than $19,000 for consulting. Buerger was one of several Democrats who originally ran in the 3rd District in 2022 but dropped out to run for state House, a contest he lost. He is now running for the state Senate.

Boebert spent $292,000 on direct mail, $135,000 on donor-list acquisition and $115,000 on fundraising consulting. She also paid Jasmine Higgs, one of her congressional staffers, $15,000 for consulting.

Boebert’s campaign reported spending nearly $2,900 on catering, including $317 at Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar in Aspen at the end of July. That bar, which serves a limited food menu, is co-owned by Quinn Gallagher.

The Daily Mail reported that Gallagher was the man who was with Boebert when the pair were ejected from a performance of the musical “Beetlejuice” in Denver in September. Boebert was talking loudly and vaping, and the man was groping Boebert, during the performance, according to surveillance video and security reports.

Hurd spent about $57,000 during the quarter, and had $356,000 in cash to start October.

His donors included former University of Colorado President Bruce Benson and his wife, Marcy; former Mesa State University President Tim Foster; former Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers; and former University of Denver Chancellor Daniel Ritchie. Three-fourths of Hurd’s donations came from Coloradans and nearly half of the donations were for $3,300, the maximum donation each for the primary and general elections.

Republican Russ Andrews, a Carbondale investment adviser also running in the primary against Boebert, loaned his campaign $251,000 of the $289,000 it raised during the third quarter. His loans account for 85% of his total $311,000 raised since jumping into the race. He has spent about $48,000.

Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout, who is running against Frisch in the Democratic primary in the 3rd District, raised more than $101,000 and spent $60,000 from July through September, leaving her with $41,000 in cash at the end of the quarter.

None of the other candidates who’ve filed to run in the 3rd District reported raising more than $1,000 in the third quarter.

8th Congressional District heats up

Caraveo won a narrow victory in Colorado’s newest congressional district in 2022 and didn’t draw a Republican challenger until the second half of the year. Now she has two.

Weld County Commissioner Scott James raised nearly $110,000 from September through July and spent about $31,000, leaving him with $79,000 in cash. State Rep. Gabe Evans, who jumped into the contest in September, brought in $103,000, with 20% of that personal loans. He spent $7,200 and still had about $96,000 in cash to start October.

Both Republicans still have a ways to go to catch up to Caraveo’s financial warchest. She brought in $454,000 from July through September, bringing her total fundraising this year to nearly $1.3 million. Her campaign had $910,000 in cash at the end of September.

Caraveo’s campaign spent $169,000 in the third quarter and has spent $432,000 since the beginning of the year. Digital advertising was her largest cost — $50,000 — in the last three months.

Other congressional contests

Republican U.S. Reps. Ken Buck, of Windsor, and Doug Lamborn, of Colorado Springs, were the only incumbents in Colorado’s congressional delegation to raise less than $100,000 in the third quarter. Buck brought in $44,000 and Lamborn $36,000.

Several Republicans are considering challenging Buck for the GOP nomination in the 4th Congressional District, which includes Castle Rock and spans the Eastern Plains. Buck, who fended off a surprise primary challenger in 2022, had nearly $480,000 in cash at the end of September.

Lamborn doesn’t have a primary challenger in his heavily Republican district, but he typically draws several opponents each election cycle. Here’s how the other Democrats in Colorado’s congressional delegation, all of whom are up for reelection next year, fared during the last quarter:

  • U.S. Rep. Brittany Pettersen, of Lakewood, raised $321,000 and had $480,000 in cash
  • U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, of Centennial, raised $317,000 and had more than $1.5 million in cash
  • U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, of Lafayette, raised $288,000 and had nearly $1.9 million in cash
  • U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, of Denver, raised $104,000 and had $331,000 in cash

Here’s a chart of the details for all candidates who raised more than $1,000 in the recent reporting period.

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Kay Adams