Election finances tip in Tipton’s favor

GOP incumbent’s war chest includes nearly $1 million from donors

Incumbent Scott Tipton has spent more campaign contributions this election year than his top challenger has received in donor contributions.

According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the GOP incumbent from Cortez has spent more than $343,000 during the 2014 election cycle. His top challenger, Abel Tapia, a Democrat from Pueblo, has collected less than $127,000 in total contributions.

Throughout the two-year election cycle, Tipton has received more than 500 donations of $200 or more from individuals and more than 100 of $1,000 or more from political action committees (PAC) for a total of $911,216. At $541,654, individual donors accounted for about 60 percent of Tipton’s total contributions.

Tipton’s top PAC donors include American Crystal Sugar Company in Moorhead, Minn., Dealers Election Action Committee in McLean, Va., Every Republican is Crucial in Richmond, Va., and Express Scripts in Saint Louis, Mo., each contributing $10,000.

Challenging Tipton for his congressional seat, Tapia is the state’s former lottery director. He also previously served as a state senator and representative.

With less than 125 total individual donors and a handful of PAC contributors, Tapia has received total contributions of $126,855. At $83,358, his individual donors also accounted for about 60 percent of total contributions.

Tapia’s top PAC donors include Ameripac: The Fund for a Greater America in Washington, D.C., International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington, D.C., and United Association of Journeymen and APP in Annapolis, Md., each contributing $5,000.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Tipton’s contributions include more than $100,000 from individual retirees, more than $70,000 from the oil and gas industry, nearly $40,000 from real estate, nearly $30,000 from law firms and more than $25,000 from the mining industry.

For Tapia, retirees have donated $6,350. Realtors, lawyers and public servants combined have donated less than $2,000.

The FEC reports Tipton’s total campaign expenditures of $343,000 were nearly seven times higher than Tapia’s disbursements of $50,000.

Tipton’s top expenditures include more than $50,000 to both Pinnacle Political Resources, a Denver-based management consultant, and Epiphany Productions, a Washington, D.C. area fundraising firm.

As for Tapia, his top expense, $9,000, was paid to Keating Research, Inc. of Mountain Village, Colo., for polling expenses.

During the 113th Congress, Tipton has sponsored 10 pieces of legislation and co-sponsored 165 bills. His congressional committee assignments include agriculture, natural resources and small business.

Other’s in the congressional race include Travis Mero, a bus driver representing the Libertarian Party, and independent candidate Tisha Casida, a consultant and realtor. The FEC did not have any financial records for Mero, and reported less than $1,000 in total contributions for Casida.