Last quarter, Congressman Mike Coffman pulled in a modest sum of $171,000 — not a huge haul by any standards, but one that still beat his only declared opponent, state Rep. Joe Miklosi (D-Denver). As there has been a lot of talk about redistricting revamping Coffman's district and making it far more competitive we wondered what was up. Turns out he was busy raising money for others.
Lynn Bartels of The Denver Post reported yesterday that Coffman hosted a National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) fundraiser with Speaker John Boehner last Friday in Cherry Hills Village that netted the NRCC nearly $850,000. A source notes that it was the largest regional fundraiser in NRCC history.
Our source also noted that Coffman hosted a similar event last cycle, netting $750,000 in what was then the record for a regional NRCC event.
Coffman has been one of the NRCC's strongest fundraisers in the country, helping raise the resources necessary to help take back the House from Nancy Pelosi last year and supporting strong conservatives in competitive races across Colorado and the country. He hasn't needed to worry about his own general elections before, being situated in one of the strongest Republican districts in Colorado, the 6th Congressional district.
Last year, Coffman sailed to re-election with 2/3 of the vote, an increase over the 60% he took in his first election in 2008. But that may all change after the Denver District Court gets through with Congressional redistricting.
Coffman's district has to shed over 80,000 voters due to massive population growth in Douglas County. The Democrats' map submitted to the court aims to shred the current 6th CD and make it a district in which Coffman would have to put up a serious fight for re-election.
We have predicted that map is likely to pass, as the court last time basically adopted the Democrats' map, meaning Coffman is getting ready to fight.
His opponent, a second term state Rep from Denver, has promised to raise "millions of dollars." While that is far from likely, as Miklosi only raised $130k last quarter with almost 40% coming from special interest PACs in Washington, DC, the race is likely to be tougher and more expensive than any general election Coffman has faced in the 6th CD before.
None of that seems to bother Coffman in the slightest.
Coffman doesn't lose. He's racked up an impressive set of victories in his career from the State Legislature to Colorado Secretary of State before being elected to Congress in 2008. As Lynn Bartels' redistricting drinking game made light of, Coffman is fond of pointing out that he's a Marine Corps combat veteran. Some pissant state Rep from Denver certainly isn't going to fluster him.
Should that pissant mount more than a modicum of a challenge to Coffman, the NRCC fundraiser makes clear Coffman won't lack for resources. He may walk softly around redistricting, but he's carrying a big fundraising stick. If Miklosi puts up a fight he may just find out how big that stick is.