Campaign Finance and the Fair Elections Fund

Get important information on how to find municipal campaign finance data, submit reports, and finance your own campaign.

Data and Records

SearchLight Denver
Campaign finance data at your fingertips

Follow the money: Search campaign finance records for local candidates and ballot issues. Explore the options below to see how SearchLight Denver brings a new dimension of transparency to Denver elections.

 

Fair Elections Fund

Approved by Denver voters in November 2018, the Fair Elections Fund provides public matching funds to candidates for municipal offices. The fund matches donations of $50 or less at a 9-to-1 ratio for candidates who agree to raise money in lower amounts and take contributions only from individuals and small donor committees. 

Information on which candidates have filed to participate in the Fair Elections Fund for the 2027 election cycle can be found on the Candidate and Initiative Tracker.

Fair Elections Fund candidates must fill out their intent to seek certification through their SearchLight Denver account. Read the Campaign Finance Manual(PDF, 1MB) for more details.

Candidates must also participate in required debates. Get information on the current debate schedule and how to become a debate sponsor: 

Fair Elections Fund Debates

Archive

Legacy data, PDF and Excel downloads 

Independent Expenditure and Electioneering Communication Reporting

To report independent expenditure and electioneering communications please complete and submit the following documents:

2021:

2021 Denver Taxpayers for Public Education

2019:

2019 A Better Denver for All of Us

2019 Colorado's Best People

2019 Friends for Denver's Future

2019 Gibson, Mark

2019 Red White Blue Denver

 

Submit Campaign Finance Reports

Candidates and organizations seeking to participate in an election in the City and County of Denver must be registered with the Office of the Clerk and Recorder and must file timely campaign finance forms and reports via SearchLight Denver. Campaign finance reporting is governed by Article 3, Section 15 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code.

 

To report an alleged violation of Denver campaign finance laws, please file a written complaint with the Denver Elections Division.

Filing Reports

Candidate Committees

Candidates must register their committees via SearchLight Denver, where they will report contribution and expenditure information. In addition to registering their committee in SearchLight, candidates must file the candidate affidavit, treasurer affidavit, and candidate financial disclosure forms within 10 days of becoming a candidate. These forms can be found on the “Get on the Ballot” page or in SearchLight Denver. Forms may be submitted to campaignfinance@denvergov.org or delivered to Denver Election Division at 200 W 14th Ave, Denver, CO 80204.

Small Donor Committees, Political Action Committees and Issue Committees

Non-candidate committees also register their committees and report contribution and expenditure information via SearchLight Denver. These committees must name a treasurer and file a treasurer affidavit within 10 days of their creation. The treasurer affidavit can be found on the “Get on the Ballot” page or in SearchLight Denver. The affidavit may be submitted to campaignfinance@denvergov.org or delivered to Denver Election Division at 200 W 14th Ave, Denver, CO 80204.

Independent Expenditures and Electioneering

A person who wishes to report an independent expenditure or electioneering communication must create a SearchLight Denver account. All required reports for independent expenditure and electioneering communications will be filed through this portal. 

    

Contribution Limits

Individual contribution limits for municipal candidates for the 2027 election cycle are listed below. The limits have been adjusted for inflation in line with Election Rule 3.1.

A Denver small donor committee (SDC) may contribute 10 times the individual limits below. A Denver political action committee (PAC) may contribute the individual limit to candidates not participating in the Fair Elections Fund. State and federal PACs and SDCs may not contribute to any Denver candidate without prior registration with the Office of the Denver Clerk and Recorder.

Direct any questions regarding allowable campaign contributions to campaignfinance@denvergov.org

 

Office Sought Participating in Fair Elections Fund Limit Candidates not participating in the fair elections fund 
Mayor $595 $1,190
City Council At-Large $415 $835
Judge $415 $835
Clerk and Recorder $415 $835 
Auditor $415 $835 
City Council District $235 $475 

Resources

Campaign Finance Manual(PDF, 1MB)

Read for general guidance on raising and spending campaign dollars, as well as how to comply with state statutes, local election law, and Fair Elections Fund rules.

2024 Campaign Finance Calendar(PDF, 132KB)

See important filing and reporting deadlines.

Filer Guide(PDF, 2MB)

A user guide for individuals who will use SearchLight Denver to file campaign finance reports.

Public Guide(PDF, 994KB)

A user guide for individuals who will use SearchLight Denver to search campaign finance reports.


Read About the 2023 Fair Elections Fund Success

 FEF report FINAL.JPG(PDF, 2MB)