Victor Mitchell
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Republican gubernatorial candidate Vic Mitchell visits with an eagle at the Western Conservative Summit on July 22, 2017. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

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Victor Mitchell spent north of $4 million from his own pocket to run for the Republican nomination for governor. Now he appears to be taking a pound of flesh from his party’s leaders in return.

Wednesday morning, Colorado Politics reported that Mitchell was on Facebook calling on Republicans to turn on Donald Trump, after the news the day before that two of the president’s men are guilty of felonies.

Later in the day, Westword posted a Mitchell profile, in which the second-place finisher in the primary did a take-down on the nominee, Walker Stapleton.

Mitchell accused Stapleton of lying to voters and illegally raising money before he declared he was a candidate.

“We elect politicians and very few leaders,” said the former state legislator and tech entrepreneur from Douglas County.

Polis and Stapleton lay out their energy plans

The state Democratic Party sent out a press release Wednesday calling Mitchell’s criticism a “bombshell.”

For sure, his disaffection with his party leaders puts a dent in the Republicans’ talking points about their party unity post primary.

Democrats, initially, had trouble betting the band back together after a rough-and-tumble four primary. It appears those wounds have healed, at least publicly.

Mitchell joined all four Republican primary candidates on a Front Range Unity Tour two days after the race. By the time the caravan of candidates rolled in to Lakewood for a stop, Mitchell had dropped out.

“My opponent (Stapleton) spent over $1 million of dark money making up outright lies and smears — and when we went to the media and said, ‘These are lies,’ they wouldn’t take the lies down,” Mitchell said in the Westword article.

Mitchell is referring to Stapleton’s super PAC, Better Colorado Now.

Stapleton’s campaign declined to comment.

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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