Election 2018Hot Sheet

Griswold up with 1st TV spot in Colorado’s secretary of state race

Author: Ernest Luning - October 9, 2018 - Updated: October 10, 2018

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Democrat Jena Griswold, left, a candidate for Colorado secretary of state, is pictured in an ad released by her campaign on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. She’s challenging Republican Wayne Williams for the office. (Via YouTube)

Colorado secretary of state candidate Jena Griswold depicts her climb from humble beginnings in a TV ad the Democrat’s campaign released Tuesday.

Backed by a $550,000 ad reservation, the 30-second spot is set to start airing on broadcast and cable stations statewide on Oct. 15 — the day clerks start sending ballots to Colorado voters — following a launch this week on digital platforms, her campaign said. (Watch the ad below.)

Griswold, an attorney who grew up in Estes Park — and sold her car for $400 to help attend law school, according to the ad — is challenging Republican Wayne Williams, a former El Paso County commissioner and clerk and recorder seeking his second term as secretary of state.

“I’m running for secretary of state to fight corruption and special interests so every Colorado voice is heard,” Griswold says in the ad, which was produced by powerhouse Democratic ad firm Putnam Partners.

Griswold has raised about three times as much campaign cash as Williams this cycle, hauling in roughly $750,000 to the incumbent’s roughly $250,000 through the most recent reporting period.

A spokesman for Williams said the campaign hasn’t reserved any TV time but is “exploring the possibility” and might go up with with an ad currently available online. But he dismissed suggestions Griswold’s fundraising and advertising advantage could sway the race.

“No amount of money can change the fact that she has never run an election, she has never handled business filings, she has never managed an office,” said Ryan Lynch, the senior consultant for the Williams campaign. “She is fundamentally unqualified for the office she is seeking, and a large TV buy funded by out-of-state special interests cannot change that.”

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.