Election 2018Hot Sheet

Democrat Jena Griswold spends $260,000 on fall TV ads in secretary of state race

Author: Ernest Luning - July 3, 2018 - Updated: July 3, 2018

Jena Griswold Aaron Harber ShowJena Griswold answers a question about her platform for secretary of state. (Photo courtesy of “The Aaron Harber Show”)

While other candidates were sweating out the results in last week’s primary, Democratic secretary of state candidate Jena Griswold spent big on TV advertising for the general election, her campaign said Monday.

Griswold’s campaign paid $260,000 on June 26 to reserve air time in October in an attempt to lock in desirable spots at the lowest prices, Chris Griswold, a campaign spokesman and the candidate’s brother, told Colorado Politics.

According to campaign finance reports filed Monday, she’s the first statewide candidate to make a sizable ad reservation for the general election, joining congressional candidates and third-party groups that are supporting them.

Griswold, a Louisville attorney, is challenging Republican incumbent Wayne Williams, who has raised just less than half what she’s hauled in — about $180,000 to her $377,000 — according to reports filed Monday that cover the period through June 27. Griswold spent almost all of the money she had on hand on the TV buy.

“Now that the primary is over, our campaign is focused on communicating with Coloradans across the state about our vision for increasing voter participation, securing our elections from foreign interference, and campaign finance reform,” Griswold said in a statement.

A spokesman for Williams shrugged at Griswold’s fundraising advantage in a recent interview, pointing out that Williams, a former El Paso County clerk, won his first term in 2014 despite being outspent roughly 2 to 1 by Democrat Joe Neguse.

Griswold and Williams were unopposed in last week’s primary.

(That same night, Neguse easily won the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District, where he’s likely to become the first African American sent to Congress by Colorado voters.)

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.