Americans for Prosperity has stepped into its first House race of the season. Guess where?

The Koch Brothers are putting their support behind Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman in his race with Democratic challenger state Sen. Morgan Carroll.

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

One of Colorado’s Republican representatives will be among the first U.S. House candidates to receive the backing of Americans for Prosperity this election season, the Washington Post reports.

AFP reportedly will send out “hundreds of staffers” to the 6th Congressional District to campaign for incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman, marking its first major involvement in a House race during this general election, according to the Post.

Both parties raised about $350,000 in the first quarter of 2016, and AFP’s effort could top six figures. Koch Industries also has given $10,000 to Coffman’s campaign, placing him in the top tier of their recipients, according to OpenSecrets.org.

The involvement of outside groups is nothing unusual, of course — the Koch brothers may be the best known political donors, but they have plenty of company on both sides of the aisle. Carroll, for example, has the backing of EMILY’s List, which supports pro-choice Democratic women, and New Belgium Brewing, among other groups, OpenSecrets reports.

Still, AFP has paid particularly close attention to both state and national politics in Colorado, with the president of the Colorado Senate attributing his rise to their help. This year, the group already has gotten involved in the U.S. Senate race shaping up between incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican challenger Darryl Glenn, as well as the looming fight over ColoradoCare.

Now, AFP’s involvement shows that both sides are watching  the Coffman-Carroll race closely.

One consultant tells the Washington Post that Coffman’s race with Morgan Carroll, a Democratic state senator, is essentially a “tossup.” The battleground stretches east of Denver from Centennial up to Lochbuie, including Aurora.

More than $11 million of ads have been booked for the race already, The Colorado Statesman reports. And in those ads, Coffman is already trying to distance himself from Trump.

One last thing worth noting: The Koch brothers don’t like Donald Trump much, and they’ve indicated that they may sit out the presidential race. Maybe that will leave them with more time and money for these down-ticket races.

 

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