Updated Feb 3, 2023 - News

Denver's public campaign financing system providing key funding to mayoral race

Fair Elections Fund contributions to Denver races
Data: Denver Elections Division; Chart: Axios Visuals

Denver's new public campaign financing system has provided more money to mayoral candidates than private donors, a new Axios Denver analysis finds.

By the numbers: The candidates have reported a total of $1.63 million from the Fair Elections Fund after the most recent disbursement this week — outpacing total donations their campaigns have received.

State of play: Kelly Brough, the former leader of the Denver chamber, and Leslie Herod, a state representative, are the best-financed among the 17 candidates in the race among those who received public money.

  • Brough's total donations and public dollars amount to $757,000, while Herod has $576,000, new figures show.

The intrigue: Four of the candidates with longer odds have received at least 75% of their campaign money from the voter-approved public funding program and raised less than $30,000 on their own.

  • Candidates receive a 9-to-1 public match for donations under $50. Only former state Sen. Mike Johnston has received more donor contributions than public financing.
  • Andy Rougeot, who loaned his campaign $500,000, is not participating.
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