Pace sets new fundraising record in bid to unseat Tipton in CD3

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenApril 12, 2012

Congressional candidate Sal Pace set another fundraising record in the most recent election cycle.

The 35-year-old Democrat is challenging incumbent Scott Tipton in the 3rd Congressional District, which, according to the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report, is one of only 11 races nationally listed as “a toss-up” in the 2012 election.

Following court-approved redistricting, CD3 will now include a large chunk of Eagle County -- basically the western half all the way to Avon. The eastern portion of Eagle County, including Vail, will stay in the 2nd Congressional District currently represented by Democrat Jared Polis.

Sal Pace

In the most recent fundraising quarter, Pace, a state representative from Pueblo, raised more than $280,000, and a spokesman says he will report over $520,000 in cash on hand, “demonstrating his ability to compete this November.” For the quarter, Pace had over 1,400 individual donors, with 90 percent of those contributions coming from in state.

“Our fundraising shows that people are fed up with the partisan politics that have gridlocked Washington and our message of common-sense representation is spreading across the district,” Pace said in a prepared statement. “We are going to continue to run a campaign that focuses on jobs and a strong economy, not the partisan ideology that the incumbent has supported in Washington D.C.”

After Tipton voted to cut Medicare benefits “to pay for a special interest tax break for multimillionaires,” contributions began pouring in to Pace's campaign, according to his spokesman.

Tipton has also been dogged with a campaign violation, revelation that a "sham front group" gave him an award, an investigation and apology to a House ethics committee and accusations that he selectively informed Republicans and mining industry interests about a public meeting over a wilderness proposal in the San Juans while excluding others.

“This record-setting haul occurred despite that the Pace for Congress campaign did not accept contributions from registered Colorado lobbyists or organizations with affiliates who lobby before the Colorado State House since the legislative session commenced on January 11,” spokesman Chad Obermiller wrote in an email.

Even though more than 88 percent of all of Pace's contributors gave $200 or less, Pace easily surpassed first quarter totals of non-incumbents in the district. Tipton raised $140,767 in 2010 and $68,286 in 2006. Wayne Wolf raised $2,966 in 2008. And John Salazar raised $153,177 in 2004.

Messages left for Tipton's spokesman and the National Republican Congressional Committee were not immediately returned.

Pace out-raised Tipton in the previous fundraising quarter.

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