The Denver Post's Kurtis Lee reports late Friday:
State Rep. Amy Stephens on Friday announced her campaign for U.S. Senate raised $51,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013 — a small figure compared to the war chest amassed by Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, who she is vying to unseat in November.
With the announcement, Stephens, a Republican from Monument, will form a finance committee her campaign touts will “help her raise the resources she needs to defeat Sen. Mark Udall in November.” Stephens entered the race two weeks into the fourth quarter of fundraising.
By contrast, in the fourth quarter of last year Udall raised $1.1 million and has about $4.7 million cash on hand.
Even factoring the first two weeks of the quarter during which Amy Stephens was not a Senate candidate, this fundraising haul is a disaster as she tries desperately to move up in a crowded and hostile GOP field. The very best that can be said is that this meager haul should motivate her new fundraising committee to get to work. Petitioning onto the primary ballot, as Stephens has announced she will do, costs money. It doesn't matter how many nominal endorsers she's racking up. For a candidate making boasts that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is not only in the tank for her, but wouldn't even back her opponent Ken Buck if nominated, this is nothing short of embarrassing.
As for Buck? As Tweeted by the AP's Nick Riccardi moments ago:
— Nick Riccardi (@NickRiccardi) January 31, 2014
Compared to incumbent Sen. Mark Udall's enormous war chest, neither of these fundraising totals are anything to inspire confidence among Republicans. That said, the relative performance by Buck, more than tripling Stephens' take, underscores polling showing Buck the clear favorite to win the GOP primary. Far from "inevitable," given the sour mood of the GOP primary electorate, Stephens faces an uphill struggle to stay relevant at all.