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Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell says he’d refuse to campaign with Donald Trump

Author: Ernest Luning - August 1, 2017 - Updated: August 1, 2017

Bane-Mitchell-Get-More-Smarter.jpg
Jason Bane of the Colorado Pols website interviews Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell on the site's "Get More Smarter Show," featuring interviews with state polticial and media figures, in a video posted online on Monday, July 31, 2017. Bane wrote in an introduction to the video that producers were using a new camera and over-exposed the shoot. (Via Facebook)Jason Bane of the Colorado Pols website interviews Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell on the site’s “Get More Smarter Show,” featuring interviews with state polticial and media figures, in a video posted online on Monday, July 31, 2017. Bane wrote in an introduction to the video that producers were using a new camera and over-exposed the shoot. (Via Facebook)

Republican gubernatorial candiate Victor Mitchell says he’s often called the “nice Donald Trump” in a video interview posted online Monday, but also says he’ll decline to campaign with Trump in Colorado if he wins the GOP nomination next year.

“No,” Mitchell tells host Jason Bane of the Colorado Pols political website. “No thanks. Donald Trump and I agree on many issues, but his style and temperament are different than mine. At the end of the day, I really love Colorado, and I think it would be insincere to have him come out and campaign for me. I’d want to put Colorado first on everything I do.”

Earlier in the episode of the website’s “Get More Smarter Show,” Mitchell acknowledges it could be an issue for some GOP primary voters that he voted for independent presidential candidate  Evan McMullin last year instead of casting a ballot for Trump but suggests it won’t be consequential.

“The Republican primary voters still like Donald Trump,” Mitchell says about 15 minutes into the 25-minute interview. “I get called all the time a ‘nice Donald Trump.’”

After listing all the reasons some voters might see similarities between the two Republicans — including the business-like approach they share to governing — Mitchell says, “People say, ‘Well, you’re like a nice Donald Trump.'” Then, with a smile, he adds, “I’ve never had a bankruptcy, I’m married to the same woman since college, so a little different in some areas. I didn’t inherit any money — quite the opposite, I came from the other side of the tracks. That’s probably an issue for some voters, they’re not going to vote for me solely because of that. But Donald Trump is not running for governor of Colorado. Donald Trump doesn’t know anything about Colorado.”

The challenges Mitchell says he’s pointing out in his campaign — including those involving health care, higher education and transportation — will be met by Colorado’s governor and citizen legislators, Mitchell says. “I mean, Donald Trump is not going to move Colorado forward,” he adds. “Coloradans are going to move Colorado forward.”

Bane notes at the start of the interview that Mitchell is the first Republican candidate who has appeared as a guest on the show, which has posted 19 episodes in the 14 months it’s been in production. (Yours truly has been a guest on the show twice, for the fourth and 16th episodes, to discuss elections and the legislative session.)

Mitchell is one of five prominent Republicans running for the chance to take over after Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper faces term limits next year — including prosecutor George Brauchler, former investment banker and Mitt Romney’s nephew Doug Robinson, and Steve Barlock, who co-chaired the Trump campaign last year in Denver. Other potential candidates include State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and former CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham, who came in second last year in the U.S. Senate primary.

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. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.