Norton Boosted by Big-Name Donors in Colorado Senate Race

Posted October 20, 2009 at 5:41pm

The first campaign finance report filed by former Colorado Lt. Gov. Jane Norton (R), who is running for the Senate in 2010, reads like a who’s who of GOP officeholders past and present, strategists and lobbyists.Prominent Republicans in Colorado and Washington, D.C., helped Norton raise $510,000 in less than one month for her campaign to defeat appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D).That is more money raised to date by any of the other Colorado Republican candidates for Senate, some of whom have been campaigning for months. Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier (R) raised just $71,000 in the third quarter and dropped out of the Senate race last week to run for a suburban Denver House seat instead.Republican Senators who donated to Norton’s campaign from their leadership PACs included Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Kit Bond (Mo.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Bob Bennett (Utah) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.).Well-known Colorado Republicans who reported giving to Norton’s campaign last month include former Sen. Bill Armstrong, former Rep. Bob Beauprez, former state Speaker Lola Spradley and Philip Anschutz, a billionaire philanthropist with interests in entertainment, energy and communications companies.Anschutz, who gave $4,800 to Norton’s campaign, and his family members are prominent Republican donors, though Bennet once was a managing director of Anschutz’s investment company.In addition to Beauprez, some former GOP Members who gave to Norton’s campaign include ex-Reps. Bob Livingston (La.), Jim Nussle (Iowa) and Robert Walker (Pa.) and ex-Sen. Don Nickles (Okla.).Republican strategists or lobbyists who donated to Norton’s campaign included Ed Rogers, chairman of the BGR Group; Rick Davis, who headed John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign; Alex Castellanos, a media consultant and CNN commentator; and Frank Donatelli, a former deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee now with McGuireWoods Consulting.Other notable Norton donors include Susan Hirschmann, a one-time chief of staff to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas); Ben Ginsberg, a well-known GOP election lawyer; and former New Hampshire Gov. Craig Benson (R).Bennet, who was appointed to the Senate in January, faces a primary challenge from former state Speaker Andrew Romanoff.