Republican businessman Barry Farah will announce Wednesday that he is mounting an eleventh-hour campaign for governor, saying in an interview that “there’s no excitement for anyone in the race.”
Farah, 56, must qualify for the ballot through at the Republican Party’s state assembly April 14 because he entered the race a day after the deadline to submit petitions. He dismissed his late entry into a crowded primary race, saying, “I don’t think it’s fatal.”
His top competition in the Republican assembly is Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, whose moderate stances on litmus-test issues may irk the conservative loyalists that typically attend.
“I have not seen a genuine conservative that has a credible chance of winning in November being represented at the assembly,” Farah told The Denver Post in an interview before his announcement.
“Conservatives don’t really want a non-conservative to win — that’s not accomplishing anything,” he added, referring to Coffman. “So that doesn’t make sense. And the rest of the field at the assembly doesn’t seem to really be gaining any traction.”
Coffman won the assembly vote for attorney general in 2014 and recently added a campaign team of veteran operatives, including Elaine Brofford and David Tschetter. A handful of other lesser-known candidates also will compete at the assembly.
To get their name on the ballot, the Republican candidates must win 30 percent of the estimated 4,200 delegates at the party assembly.
Other prominent contenders, including state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, businessman Doug Robinson and former state Rep. Victor Mitchell, are seeking to make the ballot by submitting 10,500 valid voter signatures to qualify.
Mitchell, an entrepreneur who put $3 million from his own pocket into his campaign, entered the race more than a year ago. And he will debut the first TV ad in the Republican primary Wednesday in a 30-second spot that casts him as “an outsider businessman.”
The ad is part of a $1 million TV and radio campaign in the 45 days, his campaign announced.
Farah, a wealthy businessman who is the chairman of a data analytics company, did not say how much of his own money he would put into the race but suggested other candidates’ spending on TV “is getting a little out of hand.”
The top three issues he identified for his race is cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities, improving the state’s roads and supporting more educational choices for students. But he offered few specifics on how he would achieve them.
He hired Jefferson Thomas, the political director for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Colorado, as his campaign manager. Farah’s wife, Tamra, will take a leave of absence from Americans for Prosperity in Colorado to serve as his communications director. He hired Red Maverick Media based in Washington, D.C., as his campaign consultants.