AURORA | State Senate District 27 has been firmly held by Republicans for years, but Democratic challenger Tom Sullivan is giving Sen. Jack Tate a run for his money when it comes to fundraising.
Sullivan reported raising $30,876 in the first quarter of 2016, according to his campaign’s campaign finance filing with the Secretary of State’s office. The total easily eclipses the $4,150 reported by Tate for the same period.
Tate still holds an $11,000 edge on Sullivan in terms of cash on hand going forward. Sullivan’s campaign reports about $23,904 in funds on hand after the strong quarterly fundraising, which included $5,000 from the Colorado Democratic Party.
Tate, who had served in the state House before he was tabbed in December 2015 to replace former Sen. David Balmer, reported $34,991.80 in funds on hand to finish the quarter.
The incumbent senator had the benefit of rolling $27,736.67 over from his state House campaign in the previous quarter to his current Senate campaign. However, a complaint has been lodged regarding the rollover, arguing that the amount exceeds the state limit of $22,140.
Secretary of State office spokeswoman Lynn Bartels said the complaint has been sent to an administrative law judge for a hearing.
Tate’s biggest contributions for the quarter came from political action committees and groups. The Colorado Voters for Animals small donors group accounted for Tate’s single-largest contribution at $500. A number of PACs — including Liberty Leadership PAC, Rural Leadership PAC and the Colorado Independent Auto Dealers — each contributed $400 to Tate’s campaign.
Beyond the largesse from the Democratic Party, Sullivan’s next-biggest contributions at $400 each came from a collection of individuals, both local and from out-of-state. Sullivan also netted $200 contributions each from U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter and state Sen. Andy Kerr.
Sullivan, a retired postal worker and Air Force veteran, has been a vocal advocate on issues such as gun policy and capital punishment after his son Alex was one of the 12 people killed in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting.
Tate, who was serving his first term in the House when he was appointed to fill the vacancy in Ballmer’s Senate district, is a vice president with LONG Building Technologies, Inc. He holds a master’s degree in finance and an MBA from the University of Colorado Denver.