Colorado Democrats are serious about trying to win back control of the Colorado Senate, putting thousands of dollars into candidates who they hope could do that for them come Nov. 6.
Of the 17 seats up for grabs this year in the Colorado Senate, five are considered competitive, three of which currently are held by Democrats and two by Republicans.
The Democratic candidates in each have raised, in most cases, almost four times their Republican competitors, in some cases far more.
In order to win back the Senate, Democrats need to win four of the five races. Currently, Republicans control the 35-member Senate by a single seat. Four other seats currently held by Democrats that are up this year are considered safe, as are eight of the Republicans seats, including those for Sens. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, and Don Coram, R-Montrose.
One of those races, however, pits incumbent Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, against challenger Olen Lund, a Delta County Republican. There, Donovan, has raised about 11 times more than Lund, pulling in about $228,000 compared to his $21,000.
But of the five races, Donovan's contributions among the five Democrats are the lowest.
In some of the other races, Democrats have pulled in more than $400,000 each while their Republican contenders have raised less than $135,000 apiece.
The race for Senate District 16 in the southwest part of the Denver metropolitan area, for example, has seen the most activity in contributions. There Democrat Tammy Story has raised nearly $511,000 in her effort to unseat incumbent Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, who has pulled in less than half that amount, about $210,000.
Three of the Democrats trying to win seats in the Senate currently are serving in the Colorado House: Reps. Brittany Pettersen, Faith Winters and Jessie Danielson.
Winters, D-Westminster, has raised about $434,000. She's trying to unseat Sen. Beth Martinez-Humenik, R-Thornton, who has raised about $115,000.
Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, has raised about $404,000 compared to her Republican opponent, Christine Jensen, who's pulled in about $134,000.
The final race of the five pits Pettersen, D-Lakewood, who's raised about $315,000 compared to opponent Romualdo Anthony Sanchez, who's raised about $108,000.
By comparison, local races have seen little contribution activity.
In the 65-member House, Democrats have a 36-29 majority over Republicans.
Democrats are only focused on keeping two seats on the Western Slope they already control. They include HD61, which includes the eastern half of Delta County, and HD59, which includes Durango. In HD61, Democrat Julie McCluskie has far outraised her GOP contender Michael Mason. She's pulled in more than $91,000 compared to Mason's $1,300. In the Durango district, Democratic Rep. Barbara McLachlan is running against unaffiliated Paul Jones. There, McLachlan has raised more than $108,000 compared to Jones' $32,000.
Locally, Grand Junction City Councilor Chris Kennedy is trying to unseat Scott, but isn't raising nearly as much as the incumbent. He's pulled in about $12,000 compared to Scott's $68,000.
In House District 55, which pits Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich against Democrat Tanya Travis, Rich has raised about $29,000 to Travis' $15,000.
The race for House District 54, however, is more competitive in campaign contributions. There Republican Matt Soper has slightly outraised independent Thea Chase, $38,000 to $35,000.