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Legislative Year: 2018 Change
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Colorado Eyes & Ears »

Phil Weiser raised a lot of money to defeat Rep. Joe Salazar by a little bit in the state primary. He’s going to need to raise even more to defeat Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler in the general election.

In the August report, Brauchler raised $29,195.00 and spent $17,191.87. Weiser raised $260,902.15 and spent $34,149.98. The Democratic party is making an early investment in Weiser with $39,000. The Colorado Conservation Action Fund and two labor unions pitched in another $13,000. Weiser received 139 donations at $1000 or more, many of which can be more than doubled into the November general election. Almost 1000 people have contributed to his campaign since the primary.

Brauchler's situation

Brauchler didn’t face a primary so he built his campaign chest to the point where he and Weiser have about the same amount in dollars available to spend. But Brauchler has not shown himself to be a fundraising star like Weiser, as he received only six donations at $1000 or more since the primary. The Republican party may be sitting on some money that will eventually go Brauchler’s way, but the party didn’t make an early play.

Brauchler is using Cutter Consulting LLC for his digital marketing. The Cutters have a sturdy, local reputation, as Jack Cutter “was instrumental in flipping the Colorado State Senate to the Republican majority in 2014.” Sara Cutter does the “nose-to-tail sausage grind” on campaigns, canvassing, and petitions. GS Strategy Group from Idaho provides research. According to GSSG, the nation’s voters are “fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.” GSSG’s data will undoubtedly inform Cutter Consulting’s digital work for ad placement and messaging.

Weiser's situation

Weiser used DSPolitical to spearhead his primary campaign. Its expertise is digital targeting to reach voters, influencers, and constituents. It’s located in DC and Oakland, CA. DSPolitical has done a run- through in the primary. Now Weiser has to replay the script for the general election.

 

Since the primary, he’s added a local digital company, Fruition, from Denver. Weiser paid DSPolitical $43,000, as reflected in his July 2 report, and he’s paid Fruition almost $6500 based on the August report. He had almost $7000 in his July 15 payroll.

The Advantages

Brauchler’s advantage is name recognition through his role as district attorney, especially trying the James Holmes case. Weiser’s advantage is that he knows exactly who voted in the Democratic primary and can expand his targets from there. It looks like Weiser can raise as much money as necessary to position him for a win. Democrats had a significantly higher turnout than Republicans in the primary.

Brauchler will have to deal with GSSG’s finding that most voters are “socially tolerant.” He did support the “red flag” legislation on gun control that lost in the Republican controlled Senate, but that position can play for and against him at the same time.

Weiser defeated the more liberal candidate in the Democratic primary so he may have come out of that race with a more moderate reputation, but that may play for and against him at the same time.

This race will undoubtedly be highly contested with two capable professionals heading into a brutal campaign season.  PEN

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