June 30 2005, 9:32 AM
Today is the last day for candidates for governor and congress to collect checks for their campaign coffers if they want it to appear on their Q2 campaign reports, and there's quite a bit of last-minute fundraising going on. Reports will be made public in mid-July, and for political insiders these will be important figures. The biggest comparison will be made among the candidates for governor, where most eyes are on Republicans Marc Holtzman and Bob Beauprez. Holtzman raised nearly a half-million dollars in the first quarter of the year (contribution limits for governor are $1,000), and if he maintains that pace, he will report one of the most successful early fundraising efforts in the history of the Colorado governor's race. Meanwhile, this report will be the first for Beauprez, and insiders will be watching to see how he stacks up with Holtzman. Anything less than $350,000 will be considered a bit of a disappointment for Beauprez, especially if Holtzman has raised close to another $500,000. The fundraising comparison is a little less interesting on the Democratic side, if only because Rutt Bridges and Bill Ritter have had less than two months to raise money since their respective announcements. There is more pressure on Ritter to report strong numbers, however, because he is the only candidate among the four who is not capable of contributing a large amount of personal money to his campaign for governor. The other big fundraising battle is among the two Democrats running for congress in congressional district seven (which makes up North Lakewood, Arvada, Adams County, and Aurora). Ed Perlmutter and Peggy Lamm both have a lot at stake, and a significant fundraising advantage for either candidate will help make them the favorite in the eyes of many insiders. A strong fundraising report from Republican Rick O'Donnell, meanwhile, will help him to hold off potential challengers for the Republican nomination. These two political races are the only competitive large-scale races in Colorado right now, because there are no strong challeges yet to any of the other House incumbents, and there are also no announced Democratic candidates for state treasurer or secretary of state.