Colorado’s big county parties raised real cash in the 2012 election cycle. As activists in either party consider future county leaders, they need to be aware that large funds flow through this level of political organization. Only Broomfield, Douglas and Pueblo’s Democrats failed to raise at least $50,000 in the last two years (MORAL: Pick leaders with financial savvy.)

Cash on the Barrelhead

Here’s the table of funds raised by large counties. On average, both parties’ local operations raised about $2 per active party member in their county.  

County Republican Democrat $/Republican $/Democrat
Adams $56,439 $78,750 $0.83 $1.15
Arapahoe $56,749 $110,363 $0.54 $1.06
Boulder $148,945 $213,017 $1.87 $2.68
Broomfield $62,728 $19,411 $6.29 $1.95
Denver $93,058 $244,845 $0.57 $1.50
Douglas $168,938 $44,942 $4.86 $1.29
El Paso $457,993 $291,596 $6.68 $4.25
Jefferson $127,582 $173,889 $1.28 $1.74
Larimer $151,189 $177,489 $2.87 $3.37
Mesa $98,790 $54,383 $6.26 $3.45
Pueblo $90,630 $36,517 $2.34 $0.94
Weld $102,229 $60,090 $3.38 $1.99
Large Counties $1,615,270 $1,505,294 $2.11 $1.97
State Party $496,628 $1,452,628 $0.57 $1.67
County to State* $308,211 $9,550


Champion fundraisers (per active registered party member) among Republicans were Broomfield, El Paso and Mesa Counties. Among Democrats El Paso County led, although no Democratic organization surpassed $5 per active Democrat. [Source: Colorado Secretary of State Finance History – 2 years; 2012 data not to year’s end; my calculations]

Colorado’s state parties raised less state-reported cash per capita. Since state parties must also report “federal” dollars to the FEC, this does not represent their total fundraising success. Also not included: party-affiliated legislative committee funds.

Republican county organizations’ fundraising advantage is that they collected delegate fees to the state assembly and passed it on to the state GOP. Democrats’ transfers are far more modest; see the table. [*Source:] This boosts, for all counties, Republican fundraising by about $300,000 – seemingly double-counting these fees.

This differential handling of delegate fees perhaps helped the state Dem organization lead in individuals contributing. 3,465 people gave to the Democratic state party while just 537 gave to the Republican state party. [Source:]

This data can evaluate local successes (and lapses). It’s not just cash raised or a pecking order of who raised the most. Were funds well spent? Party reports to the Secretary of State are an information trove , accessible through the Tracer Reports system, that can help analyze costs of fundraising, overhead and salaries, meetings and conventions, voter communication and direct cash to candidates. 

In Memoriam Suzanne Kreusi

This week was the funeral of a wonderful woman who chaired the Jefferson County Republican Party from 1991 to 1995. She led through the 1992 split when Ross Perot took votes from then-President Bush. Suzanne hung in, and was part of the great healing that produced the 1994 Republican takeover of the US House. (May we repeat those successes!)

The women in her family, including granddaughters, sang Dona Nobis Pacem at her funeral mass. This was entirely fitting. She was a peacemaker, along with being a leader with drive and a ready smile. She, and her leadership style, will be missed. Condolences to her family and friends.