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In final days of race, Coram campaign focuses on voters, not funds

Don Coram and Lauren Boebert
Boebert raises more than any other House candidate in Colorado

As next week’s primary election nears, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s most recent fundraising reports show she has significantly outraised her challenger for the Republican nomination, state Sen. Don Coram.

Coram focuses more on connecting with voters as he seeks to unseat the freshman congresswoman, according to his campaign.

“We need money to do things, but people are more important,” said JD Key, Coram’s campaign manager.

Boebert has spent more than $3.4 million this election cycle and has more than $2 million in cash on hand, according to forms filed from the reporting period of April 1 to June 8. Overall, Boebert has raised more than any other U.S. House candidate in Colorado’s eight congressional districts. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is the only candidate for federal office, Republican or Democrat, who has raised or spent more than Boebert in the state.

In contrast, Coram has spent about $114,000 and has almost $112,000 in cash on hand.

“We were never going to raise the millions that she has, we knew that,” Key said. “We’ve raised quite a bit of money for a pretty grassroots campaign. Most of our money has come from our district.”

Candidates were required to submit reports to the Federal Election Commission for the pre-primary period – April 1 to June 8 – by June 13, and must submit a final report Monday before the election Tuesday.

Sol Sandoval, Adam Frisch and Alex Walker

Among Democratic candidates for the U.S. House, Sol Sandoval leads fundraising, spending more than $877,000 and keeping about $29,000 on hand as of the June 8 deadline. Alex Walker has spent about $226,000 and has almost $24,000 on hand. Former Aspen City Council member Adam Frisch has self-funded his campaign with a loan of more than $700,000 during the same filing period after an earlier loan of $1.5 million. Frisch has $627,000 cash on hand.

Two years ago, when Boebert challenged then-Rep. Scott Tipton in the primary election, she had raised about $152,000, while Tipton raised $1.3 million. Key said the race showed money wasn’t the only factor in a campaign’s success.

He added that he’s encouraged by the number of Coram donors who live in Colorado and in the 3rd Congressional District.

“We feel very comfortable with where we are right now,” he said.

In the remaining days of the race, Key said, the campaign must get the people they’ve contacted to vote. Reaching all 27 counties is crucial, he said.

“We are everywhere we can be, and that’s the No. 1 thing,” he said. “ … Wearing out tires, getting to the places that people are is the best way you could ever campaign. Because meeting somebody, talking to them eye to eye about issues that you actually care about is going to do much better impact than a 15-second buzzword video on Twitter or Facebook or whatever.”

During the first quarter, Boebert raised more than $800,000, and most of her donors live outside Colorado, FEC reports show. Coram raised more than $89,000 in the first quarter, and most of his donors live in the state.

Nina Heller is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal in Cortez and a student at American University in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at nheller@durangoherald.com.

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