Hasan has spent more than any House candidate
eagle county correspondent
VAIL ” Beaver Creek resident Ali Hasan has spent more on his campaign than any other current candidate for the Colorado House, according to state records.
Hasan’s campaign had spent $190,921.93 on his campaign as of Tuesday, according to filings with the Colorado Secretary of State.
The Republican, who is running for the state House District 56 seat, has spent nearly 18 times as much as his opponent, incumbent Democrat Christine Scanlan of Dillon. Scanlan has spent $10,796.85 so far, records show.
District 56 includes Eagle, Summit and Lake counties.
Political newcomer Hasan, 28, has personally given his campaign nearly all of its money. Records show he has contributed $190,843.85, while others have given $950.
Among candidates in Colorado’s other 65 House districts, the next closest spender is Littleton state Rep. Joe Rice, who has spent $119,587.95.
Hasan could not be reached for this article. His campaign manager, Kaye Ferry, said the candidate is making no apologies for his spending levels.
“I think we’re spending what we need to to get the job done,” she said. “I would be surprised, at the end of the day, if we’re out of synch with the rest of the state.”
‘America is a free place’
Party leaders told the Hasan campaign that $150,000-$175,000 was the average spending for a race of this type, and the campaign is on track with that, Ferry said.
“The last time I checked, America is a free place, and you can do whatever you want with your money,” she said. “We’re spending our money on something we believe strongly in, and we’re trying to make a difference.”
Hasan’s high spending is matched by the big work he’s putting into the campaign, Ferry said, adding that Hasan has knocked on 17,000 doors and attended many community events.
Scanlan, 44, also said her fundraising has been on track with what is needed for the race. She has raised $30,950 so far.
Hasan’s funding is something that’s out of her control, she said.
“We’re running a grassroots campaign that’s about meeting people, working with people and solving problems,” Scanlan said.
John Straayer, professor of political science at Colorado State University, said Hasan’s spending strikes him as an “enormous” number for a state House race.
“I think if that doesn’t set a high water mark, and it may not, it’s well up there and well beyond the average,” Straayer said.
But money often wins votes, he said.
“The people who spend the most win the most often,” Straayer said. “But that doesn’t always happen. There are other factors involved.”
Democrats have controlled the seat over the last two years. Dan Gibbs won the seat handily over Republican Ken Chlouber in 2006. Gibbs spent $91,308.12 in that campaign, and Chlouber spent $42,683.23. Scanlan was appointed to replace Gibbs in 2007.
Straayer said he wouldn’t be surprised to see money start flowing into Scanlan’s campaign to counteract Hasan’s money. And Scanlan may try to publicize Hasan’s high spending to help herself, Straayer said.
“I would think she would start putting out some advertising saying, ‘Here’s a kid from a rich family that’s trying to purchase a seat,” Straayer said.
The Hasan camp bristled at the suggestion that he was trying to buy a seat.
“I don’t put much credence in that because the fact of the matter is he’s trying to win a seat, he’s trying to make a difference, and he’s spending money to do it,” Ferry said. “If that’s looked at as something askance in America, that’s news to me.”
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