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Rankin raking it in

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, Colorado CO

Bob Rankin, the Republican candidate for the Colorado House District 57 seat, has raised more than three times as much in campaign contributions in his bid to win the open house seat as his Democratic opponent, Jo Ann Baxter.According to the latest candidate finance reports filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office on Monday, Rankin, of Carbondale, has raised $45,927 in contributions year to date.Much of that support is coming from industry-supported political action committees (PACs) and trade associations in increments of $100 to $400, according to the Friends of Bob Rankin Oct. 15 campaign finance report.Numerous individual contributors to Rankin’s campaign are mostly from the Carbondale area. To date, Rankin had spent $32,642 in his campaign to be the representative from the newly redrawn HD 57, which includes Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. As of the latest filing, Rankin had $13,285 on hand for the final push before the Nov. 6 election.Baxter, of Craig, reported raising $14,740 in campaign contributions year to date, and spending just $6,330 so far. She began the final stretch leading up to the election with $8,730 yet to spend in her bid to be the new HD 57 representative.Among her biggest donors was the Denver-based Public Education Committee, also a PAC. It gave $2,250 to the Baxter campaign, which has made education and state funding for education a primary issue in the election.Baxter also took in $2,000 from the Colorado Professional Fire Fighter small donor fund. The firefighters’ labor organization has supported other Democrats running for state legislative offices as well.Baxter also loaned $4,000 to her own campaign, according to the year-to-date report.Most of the contributions to Rankin came during the earlier stages of the campaign in June and July. The Rankin campaign spent more than $14,000 in advertising, yard signs and other campaign materials in July and August.Among the PACs contributing to the Rankin campaign have been: Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Comcast Corp., Xcel Energy, the Colorado Association of Realtors, Chesapeake Energy Co., Colorado Energy Education PAC, Wells Fargo, AT&T Colorado Employee PAC, CenturyLink Employee PAC, Colorado Telecommunications Association, Colorado Petroleum, Black Hills Corp., Colorado Healthcare Association, and the Colorado Beer Distributors PAC.One other candidate in the HD 57 race, Libertarian Dan Enright of Silt, reported no campaign contributions or spending. He did miss an early filing deadline and was initially fined $250, according to filing records with the Secretary of State’s Office. That fine was partially waived, however.

Meanwhile, the Democratic candidate for the open Colorado Senate District 8 seat, Emily Tracy of Breckenridge, is receiving significant support from state Democrats in her bid to defeat Republican Randy Baumgardner of Jackson County.SD 8 includes Summit, Jackson, Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Garfield counties, following legislative redistricting earlier this year.Tracy has taken in a total of $11,558 from the Colorado Democratic Party, and has so far raised more and spent more on her campaign than has Baumgardner, according to the Oct. 15 filings.Year to date, the Tracy campaign has received $63,853 in total contributions, and spent $56,109. She still had more than $7,740 on hand for the final three weeks of the campaign.Baumgardner reported having received $53,488 to date, and spending $44,504. That leaves him with slightly more in his campaign coffers than Tracy for the final push to election day.As with Baumgardner’s Republican counterpart in the HD 57 race, much of his support is also coming from industry-backed PACs and business associations, including several mining and oil and gas interests.Among them are the Colorado Mining Association, Williams Companies, Arch Coal Inc., Trapper Mine, Oxbow Carbon & Minerals, Anglogold Ashanti, and Black Hills Corp.Baumgardner is also benefiting from the support of several groups promoting socially conservative causes, such as the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners PAC, Peak Leadership Committee of Colorado Springs, Coloradans for Common Sense, and the Cheyenne Mountain Republican Forum.Meanwhile, Tracy’s contributor list includes several labor groups, such as the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters Fund, the Colorado State Conference of Electrical Workers, Colorado AFL-CIO, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and SEIU Local 105.Pro-choice groups, such as Emily’s List and Voices for Choice, are also backing Tracy’s Senate campaign, according to the candidate’s finance disclosure report.jstroud@postindependent.com


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