DENVER — While his four potential challengers continue to slug it out in a primary, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is already focused on the general election.
His campaign announced Monday that it has spent $906,000 to reserve time for television advertising this fall, locking in air time that’s certain to get more expensive as campaigns and myriad political organizations intensify their efforts to tip the scales in Colorado’s competitive U.S. Senate race and a fight over a local control ballot measure.
The air time reserved is for the final month of the election, stretching from October 7 to Election Day, November 3.
“The overwhelming support from across Colorado allows us to make this substantial TV ad buy this early,” said Hickenlooper for Colorado campaign manager Brad Komar in a statement Monday. “This will help us all maintain a positive conversation in the fall about Colorado’s future.”
In 2010, Hickenlooper drew national attention–and praise–for running only positive TV ads, including one where he famously took a shower in his clothes because he felt dirty from watching negative ads run by other candidates and campaigns.
Earlier this month, Hickenlooper posted a record fundraising haul for the May 5 reporting deadline with $1.65 million in the bank.
In the two weeks since, his campaign raised $124,530. After spending on the TV ad time, Hickenlooper’s current cash on hand total is $757,120.
None of the four Republicans squaring off in next month’s gubernatorial primary have come anywhere close to Hickenlooper’s numbers.
Bob Beauprez, the last-minute entrant into the race, posted the highest total on May 5: $443,874 (roughly half of which came out of the candidate’s own bank account); and he is the only candidate running ads on television at the moment.
Beauprez is the establishment’s choice in a primary that also features former Congressman Tom Tancredo, former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp and Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Also Monday, the editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette opined that Kopp and Gessler should drop out in order to ensure that Tancredo doesn’t win the GOP nomination after they and Beauprez split the non-Tancredo vote.
“If one thing can be certain in Colorado’s volatile political landscape, it is this: Tancredo cannot win statewide office,” the paper’s editorial board wrote.