WASHINGTON Western Slope congressional candidates entered the last month of the election with $1.8 million to spend.
Democratic challenger Sal Pace raised $410,000 in the July-September quarter, while Republican incumbent Scott Tipton outpaced him by a little over $80,000, according to reports to the Federal Election Commission this week.
Tipton had more than $1 million in the bank at the end of September, while Pace had $79,000.
Tipton raised $313,000 from individuals, and $166,000 from political action committees. Pace raised $260,000 from individuals and $69,00 from PACs.
By comparison, the Democratic candidates in Colorados competitive 6th and 7th districts raised about $500,000 and nearly $700,000, respectively.
Still, their Republican opponents outdid them. In the 6th district, Republican incumbent Mike Coffman raised almost $58,000 more than Democrat Joe Miklosi. Republican challenger Joe Coors gave his own campaign $1.3 million, raising $1.7 million for his campaign against Democratic incumbent Ed Perlmutter.
Tiptons largest donor was Express Scripts PAC, which gave $5,000 this quarter and $10,000 to date to Tiptons campaign. Express Scripts, a major drug benefit manager, has given to both Republicans and Democrats, with a slight preference for Republicans, according to data from Opensecrets.org.
The Denver-based Western Energy Alliance PAC, which represents independent natural-gas and oil producers, and Farm Credit Council PAC, which represents the agricultural services industry, also gave Tipton $5,000 this quarter.
House leadership has thrown its support behind Tipton as well. The National Republican Congressional Committee and 13th Colony Leadership Committee, a Republican leadership PAC affiliated with Jack Kingston, R-Ga., gave $5,000 this quarter.
The National Rifle Association just missed the $5,000 mark, donating $4,950 this quarter with $9,450 donated to the campaign to date.
The five top donors to Paces campaign each gave $5,000 this quarter. Peak PAC, run by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has also supported other Democratic in Colorado.
The bulk of Paces top donors came from labor unions, including the National Education Association, the nations largest union. Another donor, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is the second-largest union in the country.
Pace also received support from the National Association of Letter Carriers and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union.
Leigh Giangreco is an intern for The Durango Herald and a student at American University in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at email@example.com.