Colorado Senate candidate and darling of the Tea Party movement Ken Buck was unable to parlay a surprising caucus victory into fundraising momentum during the first quarter of 2010. In a statement Thursday, the Buck campaign announced that it had raised $218,791 during the first three months of the year, a sum that includes a $100,000 loan.
Buck raised about 40,000 in the 4th quarter of 2009.
By contrast, his main Republican rival, former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton raised $816,000 during the first quarter, and Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet raised 1.4 million.
Buck, the Weld County District Attorney, has been at a fundraising disadvantage thanks to his relative obscurity prior to launching senate campaign. He nonetheless won the GOP party caucuses in March, garnering him national attention, as well as the endorsement of national conservative movement leaders like South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.
The campaign's press release Thursday dis say that "Fundraising for the Buck for Colorado campaign picked up dramatically after Ken Buck's victory Colorado Republican precinct caucus straw poll in March."
Buck has also been the beneficiary of advertising campaigns from independent right wing organizations like Americans for Job Security, a Virginia-based group that paid for a 600,000 ad campaign on Buck's behalf earlier this week.
Speaking to the Denver Post, Buck acknowledged that his lack of money hurt his campaign: "Whenever you go to an event, you see Jane Norton yard signs a mile before you get there, she has the money to do things like that."