Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell distributes campaign ‘newspaper’ to Colorado voters

Author: Ernest Luning - August 17, 2017 - Updated: August 17, 2017

Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell published a 16-page newspaper about his campaign the week of Aug. 14, 2017. (Photo by Colorado Politics)Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell published a 16-page newspaper about his campaign the week of Aug. 14, 2017. (Photo by Colorado Politics)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell is distributing a newspaper about his campaign this week, part of what a campaign spokesman describes as a multi-pronged approach to getting the Castle Rock entrepreneur and former state lawmaker in front of Colorado voters.

Mitchell’s campaign printed “tens of thousands” of copies of the 16-page, tabloid-style publication, delivering them in the mail and as inserts in some smaller newspapers around the state, consultant David Hill told Colorado Politics. The newspaper features photos of Mitchell and his family alternating with iconic Colorado shots, such as aspen trees and the Capitol dome, as well as brief stories under the headings “Family Man,” “Outdoorsman” and “Problem-solver,” among others.

One of seven Republican candidates for governor in next year’s election —with at least three more prominent Republicans weighing bids — Mitchell, who seeded his campaign coffers with $3 million when he got in the race, has been advertising heavily in different media and across platforms for months. In May, his campaign boasted that Mitchell had amassed more Facebook fans than any of his competitors, in part due to “Like Builder” advertising on the social media site and an aggressive online video campaign. He’s also been the only candidate to run radio and TV ads this summer.

One page in the newspaper describes how Mitchell and his wife, Amy, organized  a family reunion this year at the Statue of Liberty to commemorate his grandmother’s immigration to America through Ellis Island 100 years ago. Another details the Mitchells’ generosity, including an instance when they organized an impromptu relief effort for earthquake victims in Nepal while traveling in the region. The newspaper’s center pages are devoted to listing more than two dozen points on Mitchell’s agenda — from the broad to the granular — including, “Respect the sanctity of human life in all matters of public policy” and “Require college faculty to teach more classes than they do today.”

The newspaper, Hill noted, is intended to reach different audiences than some of his other recent efforts. “We won’t be sending it to millennials,” he said with a chuckle.

Although several Republican strategists contacted by Colorado Politics declined to weigh in about Mitchell’s newspaper, a veteran Democratic consultant said he might have spent his campaign’s money differently.

“When it comes to communications there are a lot of really fantastic ways to waste a lot of money, but ultimately every dollar spent must be justified by the question, ‘Does this earn me more votes on Election Day?'” said Daniel Aschkinasi, who managed Denver District Attorney Beth McCann’s successful campaign last year. Noting he hadn’t had a chance to review Mitchell’s publication, Aschkinasi added, “Given The Denver Post has trouble getting readers cover-to-cover, I’d say 16 pages is a waste of money and paper.”

Mitchell’s campaign team, however, said they’ve been surprised at the strong reaction the newspaper has received, adding that they’re thinking about ordering another press run.

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.