DENVER — A mailer sent to 25,000 voters in Denver came from a group called “Republicans for Jamie Giellis,” but there is no such group.
The mailer dated April 11 outlines all the reasons to support Giellis, the best-funded challenger to incumbent Michael Hancock in the mayoral race. Among those reasons are ending runaway development, her opposition to Initiative 300 and that she wants to bring ethics back to the mayor’s office. Prominent Republican activists and politicians in Denver signed their names to the letter.
“City elections are non-partisan and it so happens all of the candidates for mayor this year are Democrats. This race is too important to sit on the sidelines. We need a leader with the experience and vision who can take care of this city whether it's filling potholes or stopping over-development in our neighborhoods. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this is a quality of life issue that impacts us now and in the future,” the mailer says.
Denver Elections officials tell 9NEWS that they, too, initially thought "Republicans for Jamie Giellis" was an outside group, but the letter mailed to Republicans across the city was from her campaign. A woman in Denver filed a complaint with the Denver Elections office on April 16.
Giellis' campaign acknowledged that the mailer didn’t disclose that financial information, a violation of city code. When 9NEWS asked how this aligns with Giellis’ calls for more ethical, accountable, and competent government in Denver, they responded by saying, “The campaign is accountable … We take responsibility for it."
“When the letter was written, it had two signers. We added eight more signers, and as a result, the disclaimer got pushed to the second page, and no one caught it. The envelope had the campaign office address as the return address,” spokesperson Megan Dougherty said by email.
Giellis joined talk show host Ross Kaminsky on 630 KHOW Wednesday morning. She told Kaminsky that it was an error and that she won’t fight the campaign finance fines.
“It wasn’t like we were trying to hide anything. It was a simple error and, you know, it got called to our attention,” she said. “Nothing shady, nothing interesting going on there. Nothing other than in the chaos of the campaign and trying to get out a lot of mailings, it slipped by us.”
Hancock and Giellis are also running against Lisa Calderon and Penfield Tate III. Registered voters can begin sending in their ballots now. Election day is May 7.
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