Erik Aadland announcement

Ernest Luning, Colorado Politics Republican U.S. Senate candidate Erik Aadland speaks at the formal launch of his campaign to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet on Sept. 11, 2021, at a park in Lakewood.

Republican Erik Aadland plans to report his campaign for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat raised just over $150,000 in the third quarter, marking a big jump in the first-time candidate's fundraising since the previous quarter but far shy of the millions banked by Democrat Michael Bennet, the incumbent he hopes to face next year.

The Army veteran and former oil and gas company executive finished the fundraising period with about $80,000 on hand, his campaign said.

“I am humbled to have the support of so many concerned citizens from all over Colorado and the country,” Aadland said in a statement.

“In my travels, I have met many who understand that now is the time to stand up for what is right, who recognize the significant impact taking this Senate seat will have on the national direction. When people spend time with me, they recognize that I am not running for personal gain, but as an act of service to this country in a time of great crisis."

Six Republicans have launched candidacies for the seat held by Bennet, who is seeking a third term and reported raising $5.5 million through the end of June.

Reports covering the three-month period that ended Sept. 30 are due to the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15.

A spokeswoman for Aadland said the campaign received $154,547 for the quarter from 778 donors. He raised about $27,000 in the second quarter, including around $15,000 in donations and loans from the candidate.

Aadland said in a statement that his donors "can rest assured that I will apply their contributions judiciously to protect their freedoms and Constitutional rights, while restoring dignity, integrity and accountability to our government."

Others vying for the GOP nomination include state Rep. Ron Hanks, R-Cañon City; former El Paso County GOP chair and 2008 Olympian Eli Bremer; Fort Collins developer and former city councilman Gino Campana; former congressional candidate Peter Yu; and Army veteran Juli Henry.

Hanks and Campana didn't launch their campaigns until after the end of the third quarter, and by Wednesday afternoon, none of the candidates had filed reports with the FEC.

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