In 2016, more than $311,800 was spent between incumbent J. Paul Brown and challenger Barbara McLachlan in the race for Colorado House District 59, which made it the most expensive general election House race in the state.
This year, not so much.
According to state filings, only about $400 has been spent between two candidates: incumbent Democrat McLachlan and challenger Paul Jones, an unaffiliated candidate from Gunnison.
Republican candidate Joe Brinkerhoff of Durango has not filed any financial reports.
From Jan. 1 to May 16, McLachlan raised about $8,100 from private donors, giving her an available balance as of May 16 of about $25,140.
McLachlan spent about $260 during that time period on miscellaneous fees, office supplies and rent for a post office box.
Jones, in that same time period, raised about $7,705.
The largest donation, by far, came from the Unite Colorado Grassroots Election Fund, which gave $4,850 to Jones’ campaign. The group, according to its website, supports independent candidates in the state.
Other donations came from private individuals.
From Jan. 1 to May 16, Jones spent about $130 on miscellaneous fees. He has an available balance of about $7,500, according to the state filing.
The other seat of interest in Southwest Colorado is for state Senate District 6.
The seat is currently held by Montrose Republican Don Coram. He is being challenged by Democrat Guinn Unger, a Bayfield resident and La Plata Electric Association board member.
From Jan. 1 to May 16, Coram has raised about $3,075.
A total of $2,800 contributions were from various interest groups, including the Colorado Integrity Alliance, Colorado Liberty Fund, Constitutional Liberty Fund, Liberty Leadership Political Action Committee, Reagan Justice for Colorado, The Right Leadership PAC and Wilberforce Team.
Coram had a balance before Jan. 1 of about $5,838, which brought his total funds on hand to almost $9,000.
So far, Coram has spent almost $8,000. Most of those expenditures were for travel and lodging. A little more than $5,700, for instance, went to a Denver-based hotel.
Calls to Coram seeking information about those expenditures were not immediately returned Tuesday.
Coram had an available balance of about $930 as of May 16.
Unger, from Jan. 1 to May 16, raised about $2,850 from donations from private individuals.
Unger has spent about $1,500 on office supplies, advertising, hosting a website, campaign activities and paying dues to the Colorado Democratic Party.
The next financial reporting deadline for state House and Senate candidates is June 4.