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Primary election loser Tina Peters brings in $500K for Colorado recount

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Primary election loser Tina Peters brings in $500K for Colorado recount

Aug 02, 2022 | 7:15 pm ET
By Sara Wilson
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Primary election loser Tina Peters brings in $500K for Colorado recount
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Mike Lindell, left, stands alongside Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as she addresses a crowd gathered on the steps of the Colorado Capitol for the "Election Truth Rally," which was organized by individuals who question the results of the 2020 presidential election, in Denver, April 5, 2022. (Kevin Mohatt for Colorado Newsline)

Indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters raised over $500,000 following her defeat in the Republican secretary of state primary, as she spread baseless claims of fraud in that election and sought a recount.

The embattled Republican reported a contribution haul of about $519,000 on an Aug. 1 campaign finance filing that captures financial details between June 23 and July 27. About 96% of the individual contributions came in after Peters’ June 28 primary loss as she appealed to donors to fund election recount costs.

Many contributions came in around the time Peters appeared on Steve Bannon’s podcast “War Room” at the end of July to solicit donations to pay for a recount. Her campaign reported over $345,000 in contributions on July 25, the day of her first “War Room” appearance. She leveraged her relationships with high-profile election deniers to fund a recount in a primary election with no evidence of voter fraud or malfeasance.

Peters submitted a roughly $255,000 payment last week to secure the recount in her primary race. She came in second place with about 29% of the vote, according to official results.

Patrick Byrne, the founder and former CEO of Overstock.com who met with former President Donald Trump before the Jan. 6 insurrection and has spread election conspiracy theories, donated $1,000 to Peters. She did not accept any donations above the $1,250 limit for individuals.

Peters spent about $8,300 after June 28, when she was no longer a primary candidate. That includes about $225 for hotel lodging in Las Vegas for a law enforcement convention, her presence at which threatened her bond and nearly landed her in jail. During that hearing over her bond violation, a district court judge used the argument that Peters is no longer a candidate as rationale for a different travel notification procedure.

Imbalance of funds in governor’s race

Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl reported raising about $183,000 during this reporting period as her campaign prepares to take on a well-financed incumbent Gov. Jared Polis in November.

Conservative lawyer Randy Corporon donated $1,250 to Ganahl. It appears one donor gave $2,500, which is above the two-year election cycle limit per individual donor.

Ganahl loaned her campaign $250,000 over the reporting period.

Her campaign spent $116,000 on digital advertising space buys and $10,000 on other advertising time buys. It spent $23,000 on tracking polls at the beginning of July.

She heads into the general election campaign season with about $115,000 in the bank.

Polis brought in a more modest haul of about $62,000 during the reporting period, though the Democrat limits contributions to $100 per person.

Polis spent nearly $325,000 up until July 27, with the highest individual expenditures going to research and consulting. He currently has nearly $4.5 million in campaign funds.

Democrats bring in modest PAC money

Incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold reported raising about $342,000 between the end of June and the end of July. She received $13,500 from the political action committee EMILY’S List, $5,000 from the Los Angeles-based small donor committee Building a Stronger Colorado, and $3,500 from the United Food and Commercial Workers candidate fund.

Griswold paid the Colorado Democratic Party $10,000 for research in mid-July and also reported large expenditures for fundraising solicitations. Her campaign spent about $102,000 during the reporting period and currently has about $516,000 on hand.

Griswold’s GOP opponent in the secretary of state race, Pam Anderson, reported raising about $29,000. She received an above-limit contribution from Hillary Hall, the former Democratic Boulder County clerk and recorder and current government affairs director for the National Vote at Home Institute. Conservative talk show host Dan Caplis gave Anderson $1,000.

Anderson reported a $32,000 expenditure for petitions, which could refer to petition gathering earlier this year to get her name on the primary ballot.

Incumbent Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser raised about $274,000 and spent about $67,000 during the last reporting period. He has over $1.1 million in the bank. He also received $5,000 from Building a Stronger Colorado and $2,500 from the UFCW fund.

Weiser’s Republican opponent, John Kellner, brought in about $18,000 and spent about $23,500. He currently has about $72,000 in campaign funds.

Dave Young, the incumbent Democratic treasurer, raised about $38,000 and spent about $115,000. He has about $34,000 on hand. Young also received a $5,000 check from Building a Stronger Colorado. He spent $105,000 on television advertising.

Young’s opponent, Republican Lang Sias, raised about $13,000 in the reporting period and spent a little over $16,000. He currently has about $71,000 in campaign funds. He received $1,250 from the Colorado Liberty Fund and $700 from the Colorado Republican Leadership Fund.