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Vail native and now Denver resident Mike Johnston, who says he’s not accepting any donations from political action committees, set a new record for of $1.8 million for the first quarter of 2019 as he seeks the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.
The Johnston campaign claims that total, which must be fully reported in detail to the Federal Election Commission by April 15, is “the most ever raised in Colorado by a non-incumbent in their initial quarter.”
Colorado Politics is reporting it’s the most raised by any senate candidate in Colorado … period.
Johnston also claims to have received contributions from Coloradans in all 64 counties in the state. The campaign did not offer a breakdown of dollar amounts or individual donors, but federal contribution limits are higher ($5,600 per individual) than they are for the governor’s race ($1,050), which Johnston finished third in last year behind former state treasurer Cary Kennedy and eventual winner and former U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.
Johnston’s campaign did tweet that it received a median online contribution of $25:
A former educator, Obama administration advisor and businessman, Johnston also served in the state senate. His late father, Paul, was mayor of Vail.
“We are so grateful for such overwhelming support across the state,” Johnston in a release.“Colorado deserves a senator who will fight for Colorado values and won’t be afraid to address the real problems facing our country. My whole life I’ve run toward our toughest challenges, and that’s what I’ll do in the U.S. Senate.
“This early support builds the momentum we need to share that message and defeat Cory Gardner, so we can fight for the progressive policies our country needs on healthcare, immigration and climate change.”
Johnston faces a crowded field of Democratic challengers, including former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff.
According to Colorado Politics, “Johnston’s U.S. Senate fundraising total is slightly more than the $1.7 million Gardner reported on hand at the end of 2017, after the incumbent raised a total of $2.6 million over the last four years.”
Gardner’s campaign spokesman did not immediately return an email requesting comment.