Colorado’s contest for governor heated up on the airwaves last week prior to the Democratic and Republican assemblies on Saturday.
Those events put two candidates each on the ballot: state Treasurer Walker Stapleton and former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez made the GOP line, while former treasurer Cary Kennedy and Congressman Jared Polis join petitioning former state Sen. Michael Johnston on the Democratic ticket. Other potential candidates await results of petition signature verification by the Secretary of State’s office.
One of those petition candidates, Republican Victor Mitchell, will continue to dominate the political ad airwaves through early May.
But other candidates and PACs are also in the game.
Polis will begin airing ads this week on at least two Colorado Springs TV stations. Expect more contracts for this ad buy to surface this week. UPDATED: Three Denver stations filed another nearly $120,000 worth of ad contracts for this month on Monday. Polis already has plenty of ad time booked for June.
Independent spending committee Better Colorado Now continues to advertise on behalf of Walker Stapleton on both radio and TV through the end of April.
And a few players got in the game in advance of the assemblies.
Stronger Colorado Ahead, supporting Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s failed bid to make the primary ballot for governor, spent more than $29,000 for 83 spots over three days on KOA and KHOW radio in Denver, including ads during Colorado Rockies games.
Colorado Springs Republican Barry Farrah spent nearly $9,000 for more than 100 cable TV ads in Denver, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and southwest Colorado. The ads aired last week prior to the GOP assembly, where Farrah also failed to make the ballot.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party’s independent spending committee started to reserve time for August and early September, with one Colorado Springs buy showing up thus far.
The Federal Communications Commission requires TV and radio stations, including cable and satellite broadcasters, to file contracts for political advertising. Not all stations file the contracts immediately, so sometimes there’s a lag time.
#COpolitics is primarily examining the Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction markets when looking at the contracts, so radio buys in smaller markets may go undetected.
Here’s a look at all the political advertising filed through April 13. Click on the “Spots” tab to see how many spots groups have purchased:
Many stations include Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, which airs positive ads about the oil and gas industry, in their political files.
Colorado Concern, a business group, aired Denver radio ads in early April advocating a solution to the state’s transportation funding issues.
And the House Majority PAC is reserving time for October, most likely for ads targeting Republican Rep. Mike Coffman’s contest with a yet-to-be-determined Democratic challenger.
Steve Peterson, an unaffiliated candidate for Senate District 30 in Douglas County, bought radio advertising time in the latter half of March on KNUS, a news and talk AM station known for conservative viewpoints. That seat is held by Republican Sen. Chris Holbert.