As ballots go out to Denver voters, here are the mayoral candidates with the most money behind them

Polling has shown none of the 17 candidates for mayor breaking away from the pack with voters, but the latest campaign finance reports show a handful of hopefuls creating space when it comes to fundraising — and outside support.

Ballots will start hitting Denver voters’ mailboxes this week for the April 4 municipal election. Two would-be mayors in particular, Kelly Brough and Mike Johnston, are significantly ahead of the field when it comes to total money backing their campaigns, at $1.71 million and $1.66 million, respectively. That’s thanks in large part to big donations pouring into independent expenditure committees that aren’t subject to city contribution limits.

Leslie Herod is in the hunt in terms of direct contributions but lags the two in outside spending.

Will that money make a difference as Brough, Herod and Johnston vie to make it into the June 6 runoff? That’s not a guarantee, longtime Denver political analyst Eric Sondermann said.

“My take is that the money is important. You’d much rather have it than not have it,” Sondermann said. But, in Denver mayoral races, “it is less definitive than in some other elections.”

As of the latest filings on the city’s campaign finance website, due last week, Brough is leading all mayoral candidates in direct fundraising during the campaign at $1.1 million, followed by Herod at about $756,600 and Johnston at about $728,200. Those totals include small-donation matches from the Fair Elections Fund. [

The top three didn’t maintain the same fundraising pace in February. Brough took in more than $163,000 in contributions during the month, while Johnston raised nearly $161,000. Herod, a state representative, raised just $55,000.

Brough and Johnston really pull ahead when it comes to independent spending on their behalf, with more than $930,000 spent backing Johnston, a former state senator, and more than …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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