Congresswoman Betsy Markey, who eventually threw her support behind the health-care-reform legislation, raised a whopping $505,000 in the first three months of the year. That’s a record, and here’s the kicker: The bulk of the money flooded in after the Fourth Congressional District Democrat announced, on March 18, that she would vote for her party’s reform bill, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan. Kyle Saunders, a political scientist at Colorado State University, calls Markey’s first-quarter numbers “amazing,” adding that her health-care vote “seems to have brought supporters out of the woodwork with cash in hand.” If you’re a Republican furrowing your brow about now, you might just want to blame Sarah Palin. Markey’s campaign says a spike in donations came after Palin, the 2008 vice presidential candidate, posted on Facebook that she was making it a priority to win seats from Markey and 19 other U.S. House Dems from swing districts.
As for the three Republicans vying to challenge Markey in November—Cory Gardner, Tom Lucero, and Dean Madere—they haven’t yet said how much they raised in the first quarter of 2010. However, National Journal notes that Gardner quickly raised $75,000 after Markey voted in favor of the bill. Meanwhile, U.S. Senate hopeful Jane Norton, a Republican and former lieutenant governor, has raised $816,000 so far this year, reports CBS4. It’s unclear what GOP rival Ken Buck has raised, as well as Dems Michael Bennet, the sitting U.S. senator, and Andrew Romanoff, his primary opponent.