Embattled Colorado Congresswoman Betsy Markey (CD-4) is expected to announce Monday a first quarter fundraising total of $505,000, which would be a record for the first quarter of an election year in the 4th Congressional District. According to her campaign, the bulk of that money was donated after Markey's controversial decision to vote for the health care reform bill in March.
Markey, a moderate freshman in traditionally Republican district in rural Colorado, faces a significant reelection challenge after winning the seat from conservative stalwart Marylin Musgrave in 2008.
After voting against health care reform in November, Markey supported the compromise bill in the House in March. Her vote made her a target for Republican groups across the country. Sarah Palin marked the 4th CD with cross hairs on her infamous map highlighting vulnerable Democrats.
Markey's district was immediately flooded with TV commercials defending and criticizing her for the vote, while political observers from around the state and country wondered whether health care may cost her reelection.
Markey's campaign spokesman, Anne Carpara, told the Fort Collins Coloradoan that about 3,700 of the 4,300 donations made during the first quarter came in the few weeks following the health care vote.
Markey already had a cash advantage of about $500,000 over likely Republican opponent Cory Gardner as of January 1. Gardner has yet to release his fundraising totals from the first quarter.