Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman’s first ad of 2016: Diverse voters say he’s ‘one of us’

AURORA | A military veteran, an Ethiopian woman and a myriad of non-white voices make up Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman’s first ad in his 2016 campaign to keep his 6th Congressional District seat. The message all of these individuals have in the ad: “He’s not like other Republicans. He’s one of us.”

The Coffman for Congress campaign launched its first video ad Thursday, June 30, titled ‘One of Us.’ The ad is slated to run on cable, digital and targeted broadcast starting after July 4, according to campaign spokeswoman Cinamon Watson.

Coffman has been nationally recognized by his party for his ability to court diverse voters, and keep his seat in a district that is minority-majority. He was first elected to CD6 in 2008 after the retirement of former Rep. Tom Tancredo, and he has so far been able to hold onto the district after it was redrawn in 2011 to include most of Aurora, and many more Democrats.

Nearly 6 percent of the 6th Congressional District is Asian, while a little over 20 percent is Latino and 9 percent is black. It’s the most diverse district in Colorado and regularly one of the most competitive House races in the country, evenly divided among Democrat, Republican, and independent voters.

In the ad, one woman says Coffman is a leader on immigration reform, though his record has changed over the years. In 2011, he introduced legislation to overturn requirements that diverse areas provide bilingual ballots to voters.

In 2014, he faced off against Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff in a historic Spanish-language debate as a novice speaker. The debate was the first time two congressional candidates who are not of Hispanic descent debated in Spanish.

Coffman has previously opposed a bill to allow people brought into the country illegally as children to become citizens. But in 2014, he went against his party and voted against ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

In 2014, he told the Aurora Sentinel he didn’t support a special path to citizenship for adults in the country who knowingly illegally immigrated to the country, but did support allowing undocumented minors a path to citizenship through the military.

Watson said the ad buy was a “significant” one but would not give a specific dollar amount for it.

Coffman faces Democratic state Sen. Morgan Carroll of Aurora for the competitive House seat this fall. Carroll’s campaign has not yet released any video ads, but emails to supporters have sought to tie Coffman to Donald Trump’s policy positions.

“Mike Coffman’s propaganda can’t hide the fact that Coffman supports Donald Trump and his dangerous agenda — just like Trump, Coffman falsely said President Obama isn’t an American citizen and just like Trump, who wants to punish women who have abortions, Mike Coffman has a dangerous agenda for women including trying to re-define rape to not include women who were drugged before they were raped,” Carroll said, in response to the ad. “While these folks say Mike’s a nice guy, what Mike’s said, done and how he’s voted is anything but nice to women, students, immigrant and hard-working families across the district.”