Money has started rolling in for Colorado's governor race as four Republicans gear up for the June primary to determine who will face the Democratic incumbent, John Hickenlooper, in November.
Hickenlooper leads the pack of challengers, at least among the two who had reported their quarterly campaign finances early Monday. The governor reported raising $984,564 in the first quarter of 2014, which puts him at $1.65 million in cash on hand for the campaign.
"Coloradans on both sides of the Continental Divide know how important it is to keep our momentum up so we can reach our goal of becoming the best state in job creation," Hickenlooper said in an email sent to media about his campaign numbers.
The deadline for reporting campaign donations and expenditures was midnight Monday, and some candidates hadn't filed their reports or released their numbers before The Gazette went to print.
But latecomer to the race, Bob Beauprez, released his numbers early, touting that the former congressman raised $443,874 in only 58 days of the first quarter which ran 120 days from Jan. 1 to April 30.
Almost half of that, however, came from Beauprez himself - a banker and rancher who loaned his campaign $220,000. Beauprez has $118,399 cash on hand.
Campaign spokesman Roger Hudson said Beauprez believes in his campaign and invested in himself as the leader of Colorado.
"Our very first contribution was on March 4; it was for $15 from a lady in Centennial," Hudson said, adding they are proud of the support they have received from individuals.
"What it costs us each month to run the campaign is only $24,000 each month, so we are fiscally conservative. We've kept the spending low. This is the kind of governor Bob would be."
Beauprez outpaced the other former congressman in the race, Tom Tancredo, who reported raising $283,914 in the first quarter of 2014. Tancredo has $111,160 cash on hand.
Beauprez and Tancredo petitioned onto the ballot - an expensive process that involved gathering thousands of voter signatures across the state.
Brian Dotterer, spokesman for Tancredo, said the campaign is proud that the donations are mostly small amounts that have come from more than 10,000 individual donors.
"That to us represents a broad base of support," Dotterer said. "It is also the base of support that is going to win this election. It's the ordinary people who support Tom."
Tancredo was the only candidate who had posted his full report to the secretary of state's website by 6 p.m. Monday.
The other two candidates in the race, Secretary of State Scott Gessler and former House Republican Leader Mike Kopp, hadn't posted or released their numbers by 6 p.m.
Those two candidates made the Republican primary ballot by winning more than 30 percent of the votes at the Republican assembly last month.
Both candidates will likely report fewer expenses than Beauprez and Tancredo for the first quarter because they didn't have to pay for the expense of gathering signatures.
Contact Megan Schrader