Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert, the fervent gun rights proponent and strong supporter of former President Donald Trump who has made waves since arriving in the nation's capital, reports bringing in $700,000 in fundraising the first three months of this year, an impressive haul in an off-election year.
But one of the Colorado Republican lawmaker's Democratic challengers – state Sen. Kerry Donovan – raised more than $614,000 in the less than two months since she announced her candidacy for Congress in a bid to oust Boebert in the 2022 midterm elections.
The combined hauls by Boebert and Donovan dwarf what was raised during the similar period in the 2020 election cycle, and they are an early indication that the race in Colorado’s mostly rural third district – which covers the western third of the state, as well as Pueblo in the southern central part of the state – will be an expense battle.
The surge in fundraising is likely driven by the intense interest in Boebert, the Rifle, Colorado, restaurant owner who pushed a unrelenting conservative message through a savvy use of social media to upset five-term GOP Rep. Scott Tipton in last year's Republican primary before winning the general election in November.
Boebert's often incendiary tweets and other social media posts and provocative language to take aim at President Biden and Democrats in Congress have raised the ire of House Democrats. Seven Democratic contenders have announced they are running to try and oust Boebert from office next year.
The congresswoman, in a statement, said she appreciated "the tremendous outpouring of support across rural Colorado and our great country."
With an eye toward the GOP's goal of retaking the House majority they lost in the 2018 midterm elections, Boebert argued that House Speaker "Nancy Pelosi and her liberal lapdogs are proving every day how critical it is for freedom-loving Republicans to take back the House in 2022."
Boebert raised nearly $3 million in her successful 2020 House campaign.
Donovan, the top Democrat so far take on Boebert, tweeted "From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! In 55 days, we were able to raise $630,000 and build a grassroots network from the ground up to unseat Lauren Boebert. It's time for real leadership that will deliver results, not peddle in conspiracy theories."
"Each person who chipped in is fed up with Lauren Boebert's conspiracy theories, division, and selfish, ideological agenda and are ready for real leadership that will deliver results to get the doors of main street businesses open, reduce the cost of health care, and keep public lands in public hands," Donovan said in a separate statement.
Fundraising dollars can be used by candidates – among other things – to build and pay for staff and grassroots outreach, for travel on the campaign trail, and to produce and run TV, digital, radio and print ads, as well as direct mail.