Ernest LuningErnest LuningApril 12, 20175min2085

Douglas County Republican Victor Mitchell, an entrepreneur and former state lawmaker, plans to report that his gubernatorial campaign banked just over $3 million in the first three months of the year, nearly all of it in the form of a loan from the candidate, The Colorado Statesman has learned. And Mitchell says he's prepared to pour plenty more into his campaign.

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 6, 20175min337

His definite likes include skiing, the Broncos — and, presumably, his children. After all, he and wife Jeannette have nine of them: seven boys, two girls. Not a blended family, either, but in fact, “They’re all both of ours,” his website points out.

His website’s bio also informs us he delivered eight of his kids at home. You want hands-on experience in Colorado’s next governor? You’ve got it in Lew Gaiter.

But that’s not why the two-term Larimer County commissioner and Colorado native announced Sunday he will seek the GOP nomination in the 2018 governor’s race. His chief motivation, he said at a gathering covered by the Loveland Reporter-Herald’s Saja Hindi, is “bridging the divide.”

“There is a national cancer that is hurting the United States of America,” he said at at a friend’s house where he made the announcement. “We’re not the divided states of America, we’re the United States of America.” And so he aims to work on bringing people together alongside “strengthening the economy and responsible resource management.”

Hindi tweeted the event:

More insights from Hindi’s story include:

  • Gaiter grew up in a “hard-core” Democratic family and himself remained a Democrat until College.
  • His Christian faith and opposition to abortion led him to the Republican side of the fence.
  • And this: “Among Gaiter’s friends present on Sunday were Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, and El Paso County Commissioner and former U.S. Senate Republican candidate Darryl Glenn.”

Still more from Hindi’s report:

He has a hard time defining himself with a specific label, he supports individual responsibility and accountability, he said — “I’m not going to tell you how to live your life.”

“I am ideologically, personally, pretty conservative,” he said.

How “right-wing” he’s considered, he said, depends on a person’s perspective. When he was working at Hewlett-Packard, his team considered him the most right-wing of the group. Among the national home school movement (he’s past president of Christian Home Educators of Colorado), he said he’s considered “far left.”

…And from Gaiter’s website: He’s a past National Ski Patrol outdoor emergency care Instructor, a onetime martial arts assistant instructor and a Broncos season-ticket holder with his dad.

The 57-year-old business and life coach and software engineer told the Reporter-Herald he’ll make a higher-profile announcement of his gubernatorial bid at the state Republican Central Committee meeting April 1. However, he has not yet formally filed with the Secretary of State’s Office; records there show so far only Republicans Victor Mitchell and Joanne Silva actually have filed as candidates.

Democrats who have filed are Adam Garrity, Noel Ginsburg, Moses Humes and Michael Johnston.

Coyly waiting to pounce in from the sidelines at some point are all the A-listers in both parties you keep hearing about, and whom we keep writing about. There’s probably no need to repeat their names here. (Wanna play coy, eh? Fine; we can play that game, too!)