GOP Senate Candidates’ Lackluster Fundraising Leaves Room for Ron Hanks to Lead
“Being the first semi-legitimate candidate in race, [Bremer] had the opportunity to really make a splash, and he didn’t do it,”
Denver, CO – All the candidates in the GOP Senate Primary failed to impress with their disappointing fundraising numbers. Eli Bremer, who was expected to be a frontrunner, missed the chance to “make a splash” according to Republican consultant Ryan Lynch. Lackluster fundraising across the field leaves the door wide open for election conspiracy theorist Ron Hanks to elbow his way to the front of the pack.
Out of all the candidates, Hanks’ splashy announcement garnered the most attention with a launch video where he proudly refers to himself as a “pro Trump warrior” and blows up a copy machine labeled “Dominion Voting Machine” – affirming his belief that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
Colorado Politics reported the state of the current GOP Senate primary and you can read excerpts below:
Colorado voters won’t be marking their ballots to pick their next U.S. senator for another year, but already the match-up between U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, the Democratic incumbent, and his Republican challenger is beginning to take shape.
Following a flurry of candidate announcements in early October — after the end of the third fundraising quarter — the number of potential Bennet opponents has doubled to eight.
This year’s field of challengers has assembled more slowly, and fundraising, the most concrete measure of the field’s early strengths, is lagging.
GOP consultant Ryan Lynch — one of the few in the state who isn’t signed on to a Senate campaign — said the primary’s contours are still up for grabs.
“It’s a deep field,” he said. “No frontrunner has emerged, and while I do think Bennet is potentially beatable, most of the national interests haven’t labeled this race as competitive. What you’re not seeing yet is national money coming into the state. That can change with a few favorable polls.”
There has so far been scant publicly available polling in the race. A June poll by Denver-based Global Strategy Group, a Democratic firm, found Bennet with an eight-point lead over a generic Republican candidate among registered voters, 48%-40%, with a 3.5% margin of error.
The four other Republicans running in next year’s Senate primary made their candidacies official in October, after the end of the third quarter, so won’t have to file FEC reports until the end of January.
Among them are two wealthy business owners, a former talk radio host with ties to Hollywood’s conservative and faith-oriented communities, and a first-term legislator whose all-out support for former President Donald Trump could help tap a trove of online and small-dollar donors.
“That said, a candidate’s initial quarter in the race demonstrates what low-hanging fruit is available to the candidate,” he said, noting that the roughly quarter-million dollars raised by Bremer could spell trouble.
“Being the first semi-legitimate candidate in race, he had the opportunity to really make a splash, and he didn’t do it,” Lynch said. “That leaves it open for more people to get in.”
Hanks, the controversial state lawmaker, is almost certainly attempting to leverage donations with his attention-getting antics — including blowing up a piece of office equipment in his Senate campaign’s launch video and making a pilgrimage to Arizona earlier this year to witness the election audit conducted by Trump supporters.
A spokesman for the Colorado Democratic Party said the looming presence of former President Donald Trump, who lost Colorado twice by increasingly large margins, will do more than anything else to define the GOP primary.
“The crowded and messy Republican field shows there is an audience of one for this primary and it is former President Donald Trump,” said Nico Delgado in an email.
“Ron Hanks is an early frontrunner and his rhetoric about the 2020 election is only going to force other candidates in this race to embrace Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories and alienate Colorado voters. The primary will be a race to the bottom defined by who Donald Trump endorses.”
Read the full story in Colorado Politics.