Hickenlooper has zero dollars in war chest

DENVER — Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s war chest in his bid to be governor has zero dollars.

Meanwhile, the leading Republican candidate to be the Grand Old Party’s nominee topped $1 million, Scott McInnis’ campaign announced Friday.

At the same time, Gov. Bill Ritter’s campaign contributions for the fourth quarter of 2009 swelled his coffers to more than $2.5 million.

Unfortunately for Hickenlooper, though, state law bars the Democratic governor who dropped his re-election bid earlier this month from giving that money to his fellow party member.

But that’s all right, Hickenlooper said in a telephone interview to members of the media from outside the Denver area.

“I’ve got a steep hill ahead of me, but my sense is: In politics it’s not always about money,” Hickenlooper said. “You don’t always have to show somebody an ad 27 times to make a point.”

Although the money-isn’t-everything line often is heard from candidates with little of the green stuff, the mayor said it won’t take him long to catch up.

“I’ll bet you a case of Palisade peaches that I raise, from Monday till the end of this quarter, $100,000 more than Scott does,” he quipped. “Raising money is no fun, but it’s really just like anything else: If you want it, it’s hard work.”

The McInnis campaign said the former congressman from Grand Junction raised more than $487,000 from about 2,000 donors in the final quarter of 2009.

McInnis said in a statement he has been able to do that because his message of sparking job growth and expanding economic opportunities is resonating with voters.

“We have a six-month lead in the fundraising race, support from every Colorado county and momentum that’s growing every day,” McInnis said.

“The optimism surrounding a new vision that will put Colorado first again is propelling us forward.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate race, the leading Republican candidate, Jane Norton, reported raising more than $1 million since entering the race last fall. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, the Democratic frontrunner, is approaching $5 million.


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