As Ernest Luning reports for the Colorado Statesman, Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell has indeed written his campaign a $3 million personal check — as Mitchell has promised he would do:
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.
Mitchell, the chairman and CEO of Lead Funding LLC, a company that finances real estate development — it’s only the latest in a series of companies the Castle Rock resident has started and run over nearly three decades — said in February when he announced he was running for governor of Colorado that he would write his campaign a check for $3 million, and according to documents his campaign intends to file with the Colorado secretary of state’s office, that’s just what he did.
The bigger news from Luning’s story may be that Mitchell seems prepared to spend plenty more than $3 million — and he’s well on pace to do just that:
In total, Mitchell’s campaign brought in $3,005,278, his campaign finance report shows, including $3,002,700 from the candidate. (He told The Statesman he paid for some initial set-up costs for the campaign’s operation before writing the $3 million check.) That means Mitchell’s campaign raised $2,578 from outside donors, contributions his campaign said came in via the candidate’s website without any effort at fundraising.
After expenditures totaling $200,184, Mitchell’s campaign plans to report $2,805,094 cash on hand at the end of the first quarter. [Pols emphasis]
“It’s going to cost $5 million to win this primary and probably another $5 million to win the general election,” Mitchell told The Statesman on Wednesday. Mitchell added that he’s prepared to loan his campaign whatever it takes, although he also noted that the Republican nominee likely won’t be lacking in sufficient resources from state Republicans and national organizations that will target the seat.
Mitchell has only been an official candidate for Governor since February, but he’s already spent more than $200k? Are his campaign buttons made out of solid gold?
Critics will say that Mitchell wasn’t able to raise any real money in actual contributions, but in a crowded Republican Primary race, this is just semantics. The last time that Colorado had an open race for Governor, in 2010, the three major candidates combined only spent about $5.5 million. Being able to self-finance a campaign gives Mitchell a lot more time to spend doing other things while his opponents (including Arapahoe County D.A. George Brauchler) are locked in a room making money calls all day.