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Thud: Polis just dropped $3 million into TV ads in the governor’s race

Author: Joey Bunch - August 15, 2018 - Updated: August 15, 2018

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U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., looks on during the Colorado Democratic Party’s State Assembly in Denver on Saturday, April 12, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Jared Polis is demonstrating the perks of being rich. The Democratic gubernatorial nominee and tech millionaire on Wednesday announced a jaw-dropped television ad buy: $3 million for October.

For perspective: In 2014, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper raised a total war chest of $5.4 million for his tougher-than-expected re-election campaign. Republican Bob Beauprez raised a total of just $2.6 million, including about $900,000 of his own money.

Polis’ ads will blanket airwaves for the final weeks of the campaign in the Denver, Colorado Springs/Pueblo and Grand Junction/Montrose television markets.

“Throughout Colorado, there is already incredible excitement for Jared’s bold plans to reduce the cost of health care, invest in our public schools, and tackle the rising cost of living so that Colorado families can get ahead,” Jenn Ridder, Polis’ campaign manager, said in a statement announcing the ad blitz.

She said that in addition the campaign has more than 3,000 volunteers who have knocked on 120,000 doors the past month alone.

“We’re excited to build on that momentum and make sure that Jared’s positive message of protecting our Colorado way of life in the face of rising costs reaches Coloradans in every community.” Ridder said.

Polis has put in more than $12.4 million so far toward his campaign, compared to about $2.5 million raised by his Republican opponent, Walker Stapleton. Stapleton has put in about $800,000 of his own money into his campaign, plus more than $245,000 of campaign expenses he’s paid himself.

Republicans have accused Polis of trying to buy the governor’s race with his personal fortune.

The Colorado Sun reported Wednesday that Polis is not making campaign appearances this week, because he is traveling outside the state. Stapleton is attending in the Western Welcome Week Grand Parade in Littleton Saturday, the same day he speaks at the opening of a Jefferson County campaign office. Stapleton spoke at two events last Saturday, Victory Office openings in Thornton and Greenwood Village.

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Stapleton campaign manager Michael Fortney seized on the moment.

“It’s perfect timing for Congressman Jared Polis to announce a big media buy,” Fortney said. “Just this week he also announced he is doing zero public events. Congressman Polis might think this is a winning strategy since he has purchased every seat he has ever won, but Colorado voters will recognize this arrogance. Our campaign is ready for the fight to make life better for hardworking Coloradans.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.