Buescher continues to outspend Bradford heavily in District 55 race

State Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction, raised more than $31,000 during the final week of September and the first week of October, dwarfing his opponent’s fundraising, his campaign announced Monday.

Buescher said an amended report he will file this week will show he took in more than $31,000 between Sept. 25 and Oct. 8 from Coloradans and organizations from across the state. Buescher’s total will be his highest two-week fundraising take since mid-July.

Republican Laura Bradford reported taking in $7,385 during the same period, the most since entering the race late last year.

Buescher’s latest campaign finance reports show he has garnered the backing of a number of business owners and other Mesa County residents, including former Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission member and local businessman P. Thane De Puey and Bruce Schwenke, husband of the director of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

The local chamber of commerce, contrasting with a number of statewide pro-business organizations, endorsed Buescher’s opponent last month.

“I think you’ll notice there is a very impressive number of Mesa County individuals and business owners that wrote checks,” said Buescher, who represents District 55 in the Legislature.

Buescher received $400 from William K. Rusak, the CEO of Corrections Corp. of America.

Buescher, who heads the Joint Budget Committee, clashed with Rusak’s company last year when the private prison operator requested a higher level of compensation for its services than other state contractors.

“I get contributions from folks on every side of every issue,” Buescher said. “I think they know that I may not agree with them, but I will listen to them.”

Bradford, in a statement to the press, praised her own fundraising, saying that a number of her donors were people she has not met yet.

She also criticizes Buescher as receiving a large chunk of contributions from people from all across Colorado.

“Unlike my opponent, 98 percent of all the contributions I’ve received are from Mesa County,” she said.


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