Election 2018GovernorHot Sheet

Republican gubernatorial candidate Barry Farah kicks off TV ad campaign ahead of state assembly

Author: Ernest Luning - April 10, 2018 - Updated: April 10, 2018

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Barry Farah, a businessman and author, introduces himself in a 30-second TV ad that began airing in Colorado on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (Via Vimeo)

Republican Barry Farah is launching a brief, statewide TV and digital ad campaign Tuesday aimed at boosting his chances of landing a spot on the primary ballot at Saturday’s state GOP assembly, his campaign said.

Farah, a wealthy Colorado Springs businessman and author who joined the crowded primary field just three weeks ago, plans to air the ad nearly 300 times over a three-day period, a campaign spokesman told Colorado Politics.

“I’m running for governor to champion individual liberty for all Coloradans, so each of us can follow our own dreams without being overtaxed, over-regulated or over-controlled by those elected to serve us,” Farah says in the 30-second spot. “We don’t need a tax increase — we need better budget priorities.”

Compared to other gubernatorial candidates, including a couple who have already spent or reserved more than $1 million in airtime in the run-up to the June 26 primary, Farah won’t be spending much on the ad campaign — around $10,000, a Farah advisor says — but is confident he’ll be reaching the voters who can put him on the ballot.

“I’m in this race to win,” Farah said in a statement announcing the ad buy.

His campaign manager, Jefferson Thomas, said the ad was part of an ongoing campaign focused on Republican primary voters.

“We have nearly 300 spots statewide with an opening ad that reinforces the principled candidate many know Barry Farah to be,” Thomas said in a statement.  “We are looking for a positive outcome going into the state assembly on April 14 and are setting the stage for the primary with this initial buy.  The campaign will do what’s needed to be competitive.”

So far, the only Republicans running for governor who have spent heavily on advertising are candidates pursuing the ballot by petition and skipping the caucus and assembly process.

Victor Mitchell, a Douglas County entrepreneur and former state lawmaker, has been introducing himself to voters since the day before Farah got in the race with TV ads costing about $180,000 a week. Mitchell, who is pitching himself as a businessman and outsider, seeded his run a year ago with a $3 million check and is expected to spend more than $1 million on the ad campaign.

Along with State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and retired investment banker Doug Robinson, Mitchell has submitted petitions to qualify for the primary. Stapleton learned Friday he submitted enough signatures, while Robinson and Mitchell are awaiting completion of a review by state officials.

For the other seven candidates seeking the nomination through the GOP’s state assembly in Boulder — including Farah — it’ll take the support of at least 30 percent of the roughly 4,200 delegates to make the ballot. Farah’s chief rivals are likely to be Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, former Trump campaign organizer Steve Barlock and Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter III.

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.