Tipton leads in fundraising, but challengers are close behind

Western Slope voters currently have several options when it comes to who will represent the 3rd Congressional District in Congress for the next two years.

Of the five congressional candidates who submitted federal financial disclosures for 2019 (and haven’t dropped out), Incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton leads in fundraising totals, with Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush coming in second.

In 2019, Tipton raised the most of anyone in the race with a total of $734,816 with $243,199 of that coming from individual contributors in Colorado. He ended the fiscal year with $529,668 on hand.

Mitsch Bush’s campaign ended the year with more than half that amount, $257,587, after raising a total of $430,424.

But Mitsch Bush, a former state representative, raised slightly more from Coloradans than Tipton, bringing in $291,156 from individuals with in-state addresses in 2019. She contributed $10,819 of her own money to her campaign.

Tipton won the 2018 election with nearly 52 percent of the vote, defeating Mitsch Bush by 8 percentage points, but both face primary challengers from within their own party.

Democrat James Iacino, former CEO of Seattle Fish Co., entered the race with a splash last October, raising more than $150,000 in the first two weeks of his campaign.

Iacino’s campaign brought in a total of $294,842 for the year, ending the year with $165,716 cash on hand. He contributed $19,069 of his own money to the campaign.

Root Routledge, a climate activist and consultant who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, raised $3,947 in 2019 and ended the year with $355 cash on hand.

Tipton’s Republican primary challenger Lauren Boebert, owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, raised $19,249 from her announcement in November to the end of the year. She contributed $2,000 of her own funds to the campaign, and ended the year with about $17,000 in the campaign accounts.

Tipton has represented the district, which includes the western third of Colorado as well as Pueblo, since 2011, but Mitsch Bush may get to reprise her 2018 race against him.

But before that happens, both Tipton and Mitsch Bush must win their parties’ nomination in the June primary. The ballots will be mailed to registered voters and must be returned June 30 by mail or dropped off at designated sites.

In Colorado, voters registered with one of the two major parties can only vote in that party’s primary. Unaffiliated voters may vote in either party’s primary election, but not both.

According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, voters who are not affiliated with either party will receive ballots for both major parties unless they select to receive only one. Selecting to receive one ballot does not change a voter’s unaffiliated status.

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