Election

How much Denver’s candidates for mayors have raised — and who’s giving them money

John Elway, yeah, but developers and other local businesses, too.

Snow day at the City and County Building, Dec. 21, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Snow day at the City and County Building, Dec. 21, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photos

Money does not equate to sound policy and governance, but in our system, it certainly helps get people elected to take a stab at those things.

The deadline for municipal candidates to file campaign finance reports from the last quarter of 2018 just passed, and it’s no surprise who’s on top in Denver’s 2019 mayoral race. Out of 10 candidates, four stand out in terms of fundraising, and then there’s a huge drop-off.

Here’s a look at fundraising totals for Denver’s mayor race — and some notable people and businesses who’ve donated. The figures include “in-kind” donations, like graphic design and videography.

Mayor Michael Hancock

How much he has raised overall: $1,035,690.00
How much he raised last quarter: $308,901.00

Mayor Michael Hancock speaks during the 2018 Sustainable Denver Summit at the Colorado Convention Center, Nov. 29, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Mayor Michael Hancock speaks during the 2018 Sustainable Denver Summit at the Colorado Convention Center, Nov. 29, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Is this a surprise?

No. He’s the incumbent and is wrapping up his second term as mayor. Before that, he was a council member for eight years. Long before that, he was Huddles, the Broncos’ mascot. So you could say he’s well connected. Maybe that’s why John Elway gave him $1,020?

Is this where he needs to be to be competitive?

Yes. Leading the field in fundraising is a good place to be.

Donors you might know

John Elway, sports man
WSP, the lead design engineer of on the I-70 expansion
Patrick Firman, Denver’s sheriff
George Balafas of Kentro Group, a developer
Employees of Continuum Partners, a developer
Employees of Westside Investment Partners, a developer
Wellington Webb, former mayor
Gretchen Hollrah, executive director of the National Western Center
Daniel Ritchie, Chancelor emeritus at University of Denver
Jerome Davis, regional vice president of Xcel Energy
Scott Thorson, of Oakwood Homes
Ferdinand Sergio Ferrufino, KBNO radio broadcaster
Troy Riggs, executive director of the Denver Department of Safety
Seven firefighters
Gabe Cohen, Lyft’s Rocky Mountain regional manager
Allegra “Happy” Haynes, former deputy mayor
Alicia Economos, Kipp Colorado Schools director of development
McWhinney Holding Company LLLP, a developer
East West Partners, a developer

Jamie Giellis

How much she has raised overall: $260,276.00
How much she raised last quarter: $260,276.00

Jamie Giellis speaks at City Park Friends and Neighbors' second mayoral candidate forum at Messiah Lutheran Church, Dec. 4, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Jamie Giellis speaks at City Park Friends and Neighbors' second mayoral candidate forum at Messiah Lutheran Church, Dec. 4, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Is this a surprise?

Not really. Giellis pulled in a lot of donations from businesses in the River North section of Five Points, which is her political turf. She played a significant role in transforming RiNo into a neighborhood that prints money for local businesses, and some seem appreciative.

Is this where she needs to be to be competitive?

Sure. She’s second in fundraising only to Hancock.

Donors you might know

Eight people who either have the last name Zeppelin or work for Zeppelin Development
Six Taxi properties, which are part of a campus created by Zeppelin Development.
Dennis Gallagher, former Denver auditor
Susan Barnes-Gelt, city activist and former city councilwoman
Brad Evans, civic activist; founder of Denver Cruisers and Denver FUGLY
Denver Central Market, a RiNo food hall
10 Barrel Brewing, a RiNo brewpub
Sushi Rama, a RiNo restaurant
Cole Chandler, co-director and co-founder at the Colorado Village Collaborative
Several artists

Penfield Tate III

How much he has raised overall: $82,020.00
How much he raised last quarter:$82,020.00

Penfield Tate speaks during a public forum for Denver mayoral candidates at Messiah Community Church in South Park Hill, Nov. 13, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Penfield Tate speaks during a public forum for Denver mayoral candidates at Messiah Community Church in South Park Hill, Nov. 13, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Is this where she needs to be to be competitive?

Third place is not a terrible place to be for Tate, who announced his candidacy on TV during a Broncos game. Given those fireworks, it’s hard to believe money will be a problem for the former state legislator.

Donors you might know

Colorado Committee of Automotive Retailers
Donna Lynne, former lieutenant governor
Barry Dorfman, President of JLL of Rocky Mountain region
The Neighborhood Music School in Stapleton
Carolyn Wollard, Craig Hospital Foundation
Lots of attorneys with Kutak Rock, a national law firm

Lisa Calderón

How much she has raised overall: $36,461.00
How much she raised last quarter: $36,461.00

Lisa Calderón walks on stage during a public forum for Denver mayoral candidates at Messiah Community Church in South Park Hill, Nov. 13, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Lisa Calderón walks on stage during a public forum for Denver mayoral candidates at Messiah Community Church in South Park Hill, Nov. 13, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Is this where she needs to be to be competitive?

Calderón has a lot of donors, but they’ve given relatively small amounts. She never expected to have a war chest — at least not full of money. She’s said since the beginning of her campaign that she will have to do with people what other candidates do with money. Given that expectation, there’s no reason to think her relatively paltry fundraising has made her any less competitive.

Donors you might know

Jeff Fard, city activist and multimedia journalist
Candi CdeBaca, city activist and city council candidate
Susan Barnes-Gelt, city activist and former city councilwoman

Other candidates have raised way less

Kalyn Rose Heffernan has raised $931. Stephen Evans, better known as Chairman Seku has raised $890. Leatha Scott has raised $168.

Every other candidate either raised no money, or did not submit a fourth quarter finance report.

This article was updated to correct the role of Oakwood Homes, which did not have anything to do with building out Stapleton.

Want some more? Explore other Election stories.

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