July 17 2005, 5:30 PM
Republican candidates for Governor are far ahead in the fundraising department so far.
Denver Republicans have jumped out to an early lead raising money for what is expected to be an expensive race for governor. G.O.P. candidates have raised more than $1.3 million dollars so far, compared to less than $300,000 for the two leading Democrats.Marc Holtzman has raised much more than his opponent, Rep. Bob Beauprez. Gov. Owens is endorsing Beauprez. What's the import, if any? According to Holtzman:
Given the $1,000 donor limits imposed by new state campaign-finance laws, Holtzman says his fundraising advantage mirrors "popular electoral support." "The days of (former state Republican chairman) Bruce Benson and the governor calling 30 people into a room and anointing a candidate are over," said Holtzman, a longtime national GOP operative who moved to Colorado from Eastern Europe in 1998 before Gov. Bill Owens appointed him state technology czar.Not all agree:
Norman Provizer, a political-science professor at Metro State College in Denver, said the vast fundraising disparities between Democrats and Republicans have less to do with the political parties than with the candidates personally. Provizer said Holtzman - who as a young man forged a close friendship with Ronald Reagan and, later, his Cabinet members -- is known for his powerful, deep-pocketed Republican ties. "He's all about contacts and the ability to raise money," Provizer said. "It's obvious he didn't get his job at DU for his academic abilities."Ouch.