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DENVER — The commercials of candidates campaigning to be the next Governor of Colorado have started.

Businessman Victor Mitchell was the first to buy air time in the Denver television market.

Throughout the 2018 election season, the FOX31 Problem Solvers will “Truth Check” campaign commercials. Read our criteria and standards here.

Mitchell’s first advertisement contains four claims of note for the Problem Solvers.

Claim #1

Mitchell lead the fight to stop Proposition 103 from going into effect in 2011

Exact quote in ad: “I lead the winning fight to stop the biggest tax increase in Colorado History”

Verdict: TRUE

Reason: Mitchell in 2011 was a prominent spokesman for the Stop Colorado Jobs opposition campaign, quoted in numerous periodicals. 

Claim #2 

Proposition 103 would have been the largest tax increase in Colorado history

Exact quote in ad: “I lead the winning fight to stop the biggest tax increase in Colorado History”

Verdict: Not Exactly

Reason: Proposition 103 would have raised income taxes to 5 percent in 2011. It would have also raised sales taxes to three percent. It’s “not exactly” true because Colorado previously had those tax rates in the late 1980’s and 1990’s until it was lowered in 2000. 

Claim #3

Mitchell is not a politician and an outsider running to change Colorado 

Exact quote in ad: “The usual politicians are running but there is only one outsider businessman.”

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: The insinuation here is Mitchell has never run for political office and is a complete outsider. In 2007-2009 Mitchell was actually an elected member of the General Assembly – serving as a state representative.

Claim #4

Mitchell is a successful businessman 

Exact quote in ad: “A record of success”

Verdict: True

Reason: Mitchell has managed or operated six businesses throughout his career – achieving enough wealth to self fund most of his campaign. It was reported he wrote a check in the millions to jump start his campaign. 

Campaign Response

Victor Mitchell personally called FOX31 political Reporter Joe St. George to defend his claim as the true outsider in the race.

Mitchell said “Two years in the General Assembly does not make me an insider. 30 years in business makes me an outsider.”

The Truth Check team stands by our claim.

This is part of a series of FOX31 Problem Solvers: Truth Check stories, examining the claims made in political advertisements from candidates for governor, issue-based advertisements, as well as ads from candidates running for other offices.

Read more about the series, the team evaluating the advertisements, and our criteria and ratings.

To contact the FOX31 Problem Solvers: Truth Check team, feel free to use this form.