by Chet Hardin
As we reported today, a lot of money has been flowing into El Paso County's two state House races.
In House District 18, which covers downtown Colorado Springs, and much of the west side including Manitou Springs, Rep. Pete Lee, a Democrat, is facing a challenge from Republican newcomer Jennifer George.
In House District 17, which covers much of the southeast part of the Springs, Republican Rep. Mark Barker is taking on newcomer Democrat Tony Exum Sr.
We pulled all of the donations to each of these candidates, starting Dec. 3, 2010, and broke them out into three categories: donations from outside Colorado Springs (and in HD 18's case, Manitou Springs); donations that come from inside Colorado Springs (and, in HD 18's case, Manitou Springs); and donations from businesses, unions, associations, political committees and the like.
(A caveat: In a couple cases, small donations were entered without information regarding where they came from. We have left those out of the list below.)
First, let's look at HD 18:
• Inside Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs: $47,397
• Outside Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs: $25,510
• Businesses, unions and political committees: $61,941
• Inside Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs: $95,788
• Outside Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs: $27,268
• Businesses and political committees: $43,129
In House District 17:
• Inside Colorado Springs: $6,486
• Outside Colorado Springs: $15,075
• Businesses and political committees: $44,260
Tony Exum Sr.:
• Inside Colorado Springs: $16,619
• Outside Colorado Springs: $11,661
• Businesses, unions and political committees: $55,532
All said, more than $450,000 has been donated to these campaigns, not counting the thousands and thousands that outside groups, such as 527s, are spending to blanket the districts with mailers.