Few House candidates post $1 million quarterly fundraising hauls.
Arizona Rep. Martha McSally did it in the 2nd quarter , but she has the advantage of incumbency and the establishment support that comes with it.
Perry Haney, a Colorado physician who specializes in "minimally invasive spine care," does not.
A Democrat who's filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission to run in the Centennial State's 6th District, Haney reported $1 million in receipts in the 2nd quarter. But one look at where that money came from explains why Democrats backing state Sen. Morgan Carroll against Republican Rep. Mike Coffman aren't worried.
Haney lent his campaign the money. His FEC filing lists no other donors. Unsurprisingly, he's not well known in the district.
"I wish I could tell you about him. My problem is I really don’t know much about him," said veteran Democratic consultant Rick Ridder, who's based in Colorado.
But that doesn't mean Haney's war chest should be taken lightly, Ridder said.
"I think anybody who puts a million in his campaign is immediately serious," he said.
Haney spent only $6,400 of his fortune in the second quarter, with $6,000 of that sum going to Stanford Campaigns on June 29 for "strategic political consulting/research," according to his FEC filing.
Haney was not immediately available when reached for comment at his medical office. Stanford Campaigns, a Democratic opposition research firm in Austin, Texas, declined to comment.
Haney lent his campaign money in the first quarter, too — but 1,000 times less. Throughout the first three months of the year, he spent $338 of his $1,000 on bank charges with Chase.
National Republicans were eager to cast the self-funding Democrat as a primary threat to Carroll.
“Democrats better buckle up, because there’s a big primary brewing in the 6th District," National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Zach Hunter said in a statement. "With Haney dropping $1 million in his account, a long, bloody fight seems inevitable."
Carroll has not filed a finance report with the FEC because she declared her candidacy on July 7, after the quarter ended. Coffman raised $271,000 in the second quarter and has $478,000 in cash on hand.
"Morgan obviously has a political base," Ridder said. But both Democrats, Ridder predicted, "will be on the ballot and they will run a very robust campaign."
Mike Feeley, a Colorado Democrat who ran for the 7th District in 2002 and is now with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schrek, said that "the primary will be perceived as damaging." He's backing Carroll, but thinks it could help her, too. "It would give her a chance to test her organization," he added. "The general election will be very highly contested."
Coffman has long been a top target for Democrats, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is treating the district, which President Barack Obama carried twice, as a prime pickup opportunity, especially now that they have their preferred candidate in Carroll.
This isn't Haney's first time running for federal office. In 2012, he briefly ran for the Democratic nomination for the 6th District before. Less than a day before dropping out of the race, the Colorado Republican Party had complained to the FEC that Haney had violated campaign finance reporting rules by giving more than $51,000 to his campaign without filing as an official candidate.