DENVER - It may not register with voters that four guys are already running for governor in 2006, but the candidates are dialing for dollars as if the election were just around the corner.
Primary elections are still more than a year away, and the big Election Day is better than 16 months in the future. Candidates were required to deliver campaign finance records to the Secretary of State’s Office on Friday, showing what they’ve raised and spent April 1 to June 30. The two Republican candidates — Marc Holtzman and Congressman Bob Beauprez — hauled in the most during that time, $390,020 and $403,700 respectively. Both used their numbers to do a little political chest-thumping. “I think Marc’s momentum shows Coloradans are excited about his positive vision for Colorado’s future,” said Dirk Hallen, campaign director for Holtzman. Holtzman recently resigned as president of the University of Denver and previously was the head of Gov. Bill Owens’ Office of Innovation and Technology. Although Beauprez’s campaign had not yet viewed details regarding Holtzman’s fundraising, it went on the assumption that some of his money came from out of state. During the previous fundraising period, Holtzman had a fundraiser in New York City. “Bob is a guy from Colorado, and he raised 99 percent of his money in Colorado,” Beauprez spokesman John Marshall said. “I think it is fairly legitimate to contrast that with his opponent, who is not from Colorado and is not raising money from Colorado.” The two Democratic candidates — Rutt Bridges and Bill Ritter — raised less money than their GOP counterparts and unleashed fewer political barbs. Bridges, the wealthy founder of a think tank, raised $131,754. Ritter, former Denver district attorney, pulled in $164,383. “We feel like we’ve got a lot of momentum on the campaign,” said Scott Ingvoldstad, Ritter’s spokesman. “Our supporters and contributors showed up, and we are going to keep building on that momentum. Bridges only joined the race June 2. He’s happy with the amount he raised in less than a month. “I believe our rate of fundraising per day is higher than any of the other four,” Bridges said. “We are pretty happy with that.”