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April 03, 2009

Bennet off to fast fundraising start

A boffo fundraising performance from appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo,), who raised $1.37 million in the first three months of the year.

It’s particularly notable given that candidates across the country are concerned they’ll have trouble fundraising in a down economy – yet Bennet’s total was better than Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) best off-year total in his competitive race that began two years ago.

Bennet’s ability to stockpile cash will help dissuade a credible primary opponent from emerging, and could put pressure on potential GOP candidates to jump in the race soon, so they won’t fall too far behind in fundraising.

Former congressman Bob Beauprez, Aurora city councilman Ryan Frazier and Weld County DA Ken Buck are all looking to run for the Republican nomination.

Before his appointment in January, Bennet had never run for elective office before, raising questions about whether he would be able to put a strong political operation together. There’s still a long way to go, but his early fundraising success has gone a long way in alleviating those concerns.