Funding race close in HD 57 |

Funding race close in HD 57

Hagenbuch has financial edge over Baumgardner in state House battle

Brandon Gee

— Grand County Republican Randy Baumgardner has raised slightly more money than opponent Todd Hagenbuch in the race for state House District 57. But Hagenbuch, a Routt County Democrat, has spent far less and almost had $13,000 more available as of Sept. 24.

State candidates were required to file financial reports through Sept. 24 with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office on Monday. Their next deadline, for finances through Oct. 8, is Oct. 14.

Cumulatively, Baumgardner has raised slightly more money than Hagenbuch this election cycle. Baumgardner’s $17,240 includes a $2,500 loan from himself to his campaign committee. Hagenbuch has raised $16,762 without any loans. Expenditures left Baumgardner – who was challenged in a primary election – with $1,900.49 on hand as of Sept. 24, while Hagenbuch was carrying $14,549.93. Hagenbuch stressed Tuesday that he is putting the money he has raised to use, and said he received several of his advertising bills the day after the latest reporting period ended.

Baumgardner said the people contributing to his campaign share his views as a proponent of property rights, Second Amendment rights, keeping water on the Western Slope and addressing the state’s mountain pine beetle epidemic. Some of Baumgardner’s largest contributions have come from political action and small donors committees, such as $200 from the Certified Public Accountants PAC, two $800 donations from Service Employees International and $900 from the Colorado Association of Public Employees Small Donors Committee.

Being from Phippsburg, Hagenbuch said he believes he will have an advantage in Routt County, but local Republicans certainly aren’t sitting out the race. Baumgardner’s largest single donation is $1,000 from the Routt County Republican Central Committee.

“I’ll take money from anybody,” Baumgardner said Tuesday. “Anybody wants to give me money, I’ll take it.”

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House District 57 covers Routt, Moffat, Grand, Garfield, Jackson and Rio Blanco counties.

Hagenbuch has a $1,000 donation from the Colorado Conservation Voters Action Fund, a group that Hagenbuch said promotes sound environmental policies.

“They have endorsed Al White before,” said Hagenbuch, referencing House District 57’s term-limited, Republican representative. “They’re nonpartisan, and I was pleased to be one of their picks.”

White, R-Hayden, is running for Senate District 8 against former Steamboat Springs City Council President Ken Brenner.

Hagenbuch said his campaign strategy has been to focus on personal encounters with voters. He said his supporters are likely drawn to his stances on forest health, water, wildlife issues and oil and gas development.

Baumgardner was a supporter of the Bureau of Land Management’s $114 million sale of leasing rights on the Roan Plateau in August, while Hagenbuch joined other Colorado Democratic politicians in opposing the “fire sale.”