Campaign Finance and the Fair Elections Fund

Navigating municipal campaign finance as a resident, candidate, or campaign staffer can be complex. We've created this site as a one-stop-shop for you to find what you need. And we're here to help if you need more support. Read on for information on how to find campaign records, submit campaign finance reports, and finance your own campaign.

SearchLight Denver

Campaign Finance Data at your Fingertips

SearchLight Denver is our comprehensive campaign finance database. You can use it to search campaign finance records for local candidates and ballot issues, empowering you to follow the money in local politics. Explore the options below to see how SearchLight Denver is bringing a new dimension of transparency to Denver elections. 

Fair Elections Fund

The Fair Elections Fund Act was passed by Denver voters in the November 2018 general election. The fund provides public matching funds to candidates for municipal offices in the next municipal election cycle beginning January 1, 2020.

The fund matches donations of $50 or less at a ratio of 9 to 1 for candidates who voluntarily agree to raise money in lower amounts and take contributions only from individuals and small donor committees. All other campaign finance rules still apply.

The first round of funds for the 2023 Municipal Election will be dispersed to candidates in August 2022. Candidates may begin to collect qualifying contributions on or after January 1, 2020.

Fair Elections Fund Candidates must fill out their intent to seek certification through their SearchLight Denver account. Full details on running a campaign as a Fair Elections Fund candidate can be found in the Campaign Finance Manual(PDF, 1MB)

 

Archive

Legacy data, PDF and Excel downloads 

Archived Reports

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 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 campaign finance forms and reports by required deadlines. Campaign finance forms and reports must be filed online through SearchLight Denver. Campaign finance reporting in Denver is governed by Article 3, Section 15 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code.(PDF, 350KB)

Anyone wishing to file a complaint alleging a violation of Denver campaign finance laws may file a written complaint with the Denver Elections Division.

Independent Expenditure & Electioneering Communication Reporting

A person wishing 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 SearchLight Denver.

See the User Resources tab for more information on submitting campaign finance reports.

File Campaign Finance Reports

Candidate Committees

Candidate committees must report contributions received and expenditures made. 

All campaign finance reports are filed online using SearchLight DenverThe calendar for campaign finance reports is also posted on SearchLight Denver. In addition, a PDF version of the calendar is available(PDF, 240KB).

Issue Committee and PAC Forms

All non-candidate committees require the same documentation to open a committee: a statement of organization and a treasurer affidavit.

A template for the statement of organization can be found within each committee’s account in the committee information section within SearchLight Denver.

The treasurer affidavit can be found in each committee’s account in your committee information section within SearchLight Denver. It must be filled out online, printed out, notarized by a registered notary, and mailed back or delivered to the Denver Elections Division at 200 W. 14th Ave Denver, CO 80204. Committees are encouraged to drop off the treasurer affidavit in person to ensure it is received in the 10-day window.

The calendar for campaign finance reports is also posted on SearchLight Denver. In addition, a PDF version of the calendar is available(PDF, 240KB).

Campaign Finance Reporting

Campaign finance reporting in Denver is governed by Article 3, Section 15 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code.
All forms must be submitted via the online SearchLight Denver.

  

Contribution Limits

Office Sought Old Contribution Limit New Contribution Limit Participating in Fair Elections Fund Limit
Mayor $3,000 $1,000 $500
City Council At-Large $2,000 $700
$350
Judge $2,000 $700 $350
Clerk and Recorder $2,000
$700 $350
Auditor $2,000
$700 $350
City Council District $1,000 $400 $200

User 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

2022 Campaign Finance Calendar(PDF, 240KB)

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