Senate Candidate Glenn Gets $682K Ad Buy Boost From Super PAC

Photo: Darryl Glenn Gesturing (AP/File)
El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn speaks at the Colorado Republican state convention in Colorado Springs in April.

An Illinois-based super PAC spent more than $682,000 in recent days on TV ads promoting Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn.

Restoration PAC bought more than 1,000 spots from July 22 through Sunday on stations in Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction. That’s according to an analysis of TV ad contracts filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

Richard Uihlein, CEO of a shipping company, is the primary funder of Restoration PAC, putting in $1.8 million of $1.9 million in contributions through June 30. The organization, which takes unlimited donations, advocates for limited government, lower taxes and individual freedom.

Meanwhile, Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet cut back on his advertising after the June 28 primary in which Glenn won a five-way race for the GOP nomination.

Bennet canceled several contracts in the two weeks after the primary and reduced others, cutting back his ad spending by at least $286,000. Still, the senator, who began airing ads in April, has spent $3.6 million on TV ads through the end of July and has contracts for another $5 million from August through Election Day.

Glenn has yet to buy or schedule any TV advertising on his own. The Republican candidate trails Bennet significantly in fundraising.

In the presidential race, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has spent more than $2.3 million on TV ads in Colorado from late May through July 25. But the candidate has yet to schedule more advertising time in what’s considered a swing state. And Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting Clinton by airing ads critical of GOP candidate Donald Trump, cut its Colorado ad time by $429,000 for early August by reducing or cancelling contracts.

Priorities still has nearly $8.7 million in TV ads slated to run in Colorado through Nov. 8, and remains the state’s largest political advertiser in 2016.

Trump has yet to air ads or reserve ad time in Colorado.

While the status of several ballot initiatives won’t be known for a number of weeks, opponents and proponents of several prospective issues are also reserving air time.

The FCC doesn’t require stations to file contracts for local or state-based issue campaigns, though many stations do. So numbers for ballot initiatives are likely incomplete.

  • Protecting Colorado’s Environment, Economy and Energy is spending at least $4 million in ads through Election Day. That group is opposing potential ballot initiatives that would limit fracking.
  • Yes on Colorado End of Life Options has reserved at least $1.7 million in TV time to support an initiative that would allow doctors to help the terminally ill end their lives.
  • Coloradans for Colorado has reserved more than $800,000 in time and likely more. That group opposes Amendment 69, which would create a single payer health care system in Colorado. Thus far, nearly $54 million in political ads have aired or are scheduled to air in Colorado in 2016. Here’s a look at the top advertisers in Colorado this year: